Two of kenya's superstar long distance runners, Ben Jipcho and Kip Keino, were at the kenya National Athletics Championships on Saturday and Sunday (17 and 18 November).
SV PAN Jipcho drinking after race with team mates.
CU Jipcho speaking to reporter
SV Officials and crowd.
CU Keino talking to reporter.
TRANSCRIPT: INTERVIEWER: "Ben, we've read in the newspaper you have been made a very attractive offer by an American professional organisation to turn professional. Is that true?"
SEQ. 3: BEN JIPCHO: "Well, it is true, and you and know I have to seek permission from my government and from my bosses. If they will accept, then I hope to take the offer. But if they refuse, then they know what they are going to do for my future."
INTERVIEWER: "What actually is the offer you have been made?"
BEN JIPCHO: "Well, something like 40,000 U.S. dollars, which is about 320,000 Kenya money, which I do not know if someone is prepared, you know, to offer me that."
INTERVIEWER: "And how much would you like to earn annually as a professional, do you think?"
BEN JIPCHO: "Of course, when I win one race, it will be 500 U.S. dollars, which is approximately 3,000 Kenya money."
INTERVIEWER: "Yes I see. Ben, I know it is a personal question, but what, as a prison officer here, what do you earn a month?"
BEN JIPCHO: "It is a net of about 1500 Kenya money".
INTERVIEWER: "So, in other words, the professional offer is quite a tempting one for you."
BEN JIPCHO: "Oh yes, it is "
INTERVIEWER: "Kip Keino, your first season as a professional, how did it go?"
KIP KEINO: "Well, I think to my knowledge, it went on very well and I enjoyed the feel of professional since I signed."
INTERVIEWER: "Are you glad now you decided to turn professional"
KIP KEINO: "I think I am very glad of the decision I took to turn professional."
INTERVIEWER: "This is an amateur meeting here, what are you doing here, what is your job here today/"
KIP KEINO: "My job here, I am one of the officials, I am taking number four. I am happy to see and I talked to athletes, encouraging in the way of athletics, not on the professional side, but I like to see them doing their good performances."
INTERVIEWER: "And the kenyan athletes, how do you think they are getting on? We're thinking of Christchurch."
KIP KEINO: "I think the performance which they are doing today is really for my money. I think they're fighting, and still a lot of things to be improved, especially on timing, speed, but the performances today are quite good."
Initials APSM/1951 APSM/2004
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: Two of kenya's superstar long distance runners, Ben Jipcho and Kip Keino, were at the kenya National Athletics Championships on Saturday and Sunday (17 and 18 November). Ben Jipcho was there as a performer, and Kip keino, now a professional athlete, as a judge.
There have been reports that Ben Jipcho will john Keino as a professional, and during the Championship Meeting held at Kisumu, both men talked about professional athletics.
If Ben Jipcho turns professional, he will be unable to compete in next year's Commonwealth Games, in Christchurch, New Zealand.