Hold on cowboys! There is one thing that you guys don't seem to get! It's a cultural thing.
When you are talking to somebody, in western you have to keep an engaged eye contact. Back in Africa, you don't keep a conversation staring at someone'eyes unless you are in power position over that person.
Have you noticed what kimetto did when the guy shook hands with him after the interview? Nope because you don't get the culture!
Kimetto joined his both hands accepting the congratulations, meaning he owed the upmost respect to those talking to him.
Short answers: this is sign of respect. If I invite you over my house, i am in position of power. I will (karibisha) receive you, give you some food, something to drink, take time to ask if you are ok...after a while, i will let you know that you can talk freely because now i don't consider you a stranger anymore. You're part of family. Now you can say whatever you want but before that, if you speak too much, i will see as arrogant and badly brought up, i might not invite you next time. One of the popular proverbs say ''Mwenye kelele hana neno'' meaning A noisy person is harmless or talking too much is like saying nothing.
We say that Kimya kingi kina mshindo mkubwa, meaning great silence has a great power!
Soft spoken: again respect. Unless you are in position of power, if you soft speak people will listen to you but if you are too loud, then people will perceive you as arrogant.
In contrast,a journalist ask kimetto if it's okay if somebody goes on to visit him back in Kenya that's different. He will be the one receiving. He will come to pick you up at airport, he will show where he lives, where he runs, his family, he will show his farm, training partners, all his story, you won't even have to ask for anything, he will tell you before you ask. The family will prepare the best food for you. They will let stay in their home. He will give you details about his races!! But right after a race, he is the guest, it's not time to talk.
Ever wandered why Geb let flotrack guys into his mansion, or kipsang in his hotel, lornah in her camp??
Guess what I would find it weird if the africans behave differently! That's just how they were brought up! Never wandered the eye contact thing too? Try to stare a lion in their eyes you will soon find out who is the king! And this has been going for centuries!
Some other things that most of you seem to forget, 80% of the athletes in long distance are either in the police, or the army. It's a very strict environment. How was the weather today? The weather was good sir!
For very few, it's a language barrier, most of them speak 3-4languages. They speak English only with mzungus or meetings at work (if they are in power). If I ask questions in spanish since spanish is the second language in states, most of you will keep it short too! You think Kimetto speak English with his teammates or neighbours? He is no poet, he is a runner for christ'sake. He is a doer not a talker If not he would be at Churchill show! If you to know him, act like it then! He just told you he was sick back in July, go visit him and get to know him! That's just real life man! You seem to live a virtual one!
For instance a virtual media work is not his, so there is some lazy journalism here!