Kenya womens at the 2015 world sevens series qualifiers

Kenya lost narrowly 12-14 to Hong Kong

There are always large numbers of Kenyans who show up to cheer the team, including in Hong Kong

Kenya’s only win was against Mexico

Kenya dance after the last game

Team Kenya after the win over Mexico

Day two results

Hong Kong 14-12 Kenya
Mexico 0-55 Kenya

Day one results

Japan 31-0 Kenya
Fiji 45-0 Kenya
Argentina 19-5 Kenya


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Kenya Rugby sevens gallery for 2014-2015


Kenya won the shield at the 2015 Hong Kong sevens

Kenya beat Argentina at the 2015 USA sevens bowl finals

Lavin Asego in action at the 2015 Tokyo sevens

Dan Sikuta and Michael Wanjala taking on England at the 2015 USA sevens

Kenya won the bowl at the 2015 London sevens

Andrew Amode leads a training session before the 2015 Glasgow sevens

Michael Wanjala on his way to the tryline against South Africa at the 2014 Wellington sevens

Andrew Amonde against Wales at the 2014 South Africa sevens


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Tokoma Ba Camarade Pamba (Lyrics and Translation)


This is one of Franco’s classic songs and most reknown from the golden era of TPOK Jazz. It features exhilarating guitar riffs by Franco as well as superb vocals by Franco and Josky Kiambukuta

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Bobby Williamson’s salary: A case of misplaced priorities

Bobby with his assistant Musa Otieno

The East African Standard recently announced that Harambee Stars coach Bobby Williamson is paid a monthly salary of Ksh 2.5 million per month. This is equivalent to US $ 23726.05 per month. This is a staggering amount by any standards. To put things in perspective, Williamson makes more than at least three of the coaches at the 2014 world cup, Miguel Herrera of Mexico, James Appiah of Ghana and Niko Kovacs of Croatia.

Yet these were coaches who had steered their respective teams to world cup qualification. Many Kenya fans have complained that Williamson does not deserve such a massive pay packet. Former national team coach and now Bandari coach Twahir Muhiddin is among those who think Willliamson is not worthy of such remuneration.

Rick Solomon “Tolle”, a former national team player and now long serving football official also added his voice to the naysayers.

Owing to the fact that the team is performing poorly, Solomon says, the salary should be reviewed though he also pointed out that he (Williamson) is not entirely to blame for the poor showing.

“If you look at the team’s performance since Williamson joined, it has not been good but then again he is not entirely to blame. It is not possible for him to do well with poor preparation,” he pointed out.

But in a quick rejoinder, FKF Chairman Sam Nyamweya defended Williamson’s large salary.

“He deserves the pay and let us not forget the fact that he has had salary arrears for long. In our opinion, he has done well considering the circumstances he was working under,” Mr Nyamweya said.

Nyamweya  believes the coach can still steer the national team to the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations finals.

“We still have a chance of featuring in the finals despite losing to Zambia. We just need to be focused and work hard on this,” he said.

Misplaced priorities

Certainly Williamson is not to blame for Kenya’s poor performance. After all Kenya has been performing poorly for the past 12 years or so. The last time the national team excited the public was in 2003 when a sensational Dennis Oliech steered the team to a CECAFA challenge cup win in Tanzania and to qualification for the 2004 Africa nations cup. Since then it has been one futile campaign for another.

Williamson himself noted that Zambia who recently beat Kenya, had higher quality strikers. The calibre of players that Kenya currently has will not cut it. The reason Kenya does not have enough high calibre players is due to lack of structured youth development.

Because Youth development is basically non-existent, young Kenyan players are not developing tactically and technically. Kenya often does not even enter Under-20 or Under-17 tournaments, unlike countries like Zambia which are regular participants. Without youth teams to act as feeder teams for the national teams, Kenya will continue to lag behind.

Rather than spend Ksh 2.5 million on a coach, the government would be better off injecting more money into youth development programs thart identify talented youth at the grassroots and puts them ins tructured youth development programs.

Unfortunately both FKF and the government think that spending money on expensive coaches is the solution to Kenya’s poor performance. The reality is that there is no shortcut to success. If Kenya does not invest in youth development then Harambee stars is doomed to endless mediocrity.


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Kenyan sprinters rise in 2015

The 2015 will go down as a memorable season for Kenyan sprinters. Whereas Kenya is known for producing more world class distance runners than any other nation, it has generally faired poorly in the shortest distances, especially since the early 1990s when the Kenyan athletics governing body (AK) really started to neglect the sprinters.

Yet in the last few years, AK has started to treat sprinters better, resulting in gradual improvements that culminated in a memorable 2015 season.

Bett and Mucheru shock the world in the 400m hurdles.

Firstly Nicholas Bett became the first Kenyan to win a sprinting medal at the world championships when he won the gold medal in the 400m hurdles. It was a run that shocked the world. Not only did Bett overcome the odds to win, he won out of lane 9, the outermost lane which is the most difficult to win from. By running a time of 47.79, he ran the fastest time in the world for the year 2015. It was also a new Kenyan record, breaking the old one set by Eric Keter 22 years earlier when Bett was barely a year old.

But it was not just Bett who shone. Compatriot Boniface Mucheru Tumuti also reached the finals of the 400m hurdles at the world championships and finished a creditable 5th. The fact that two Kenyans made a sprint final was in itself very impressive.

Bett receives congratulations from Mucheru

This column has stated many times that Kenyans can do well in the 400m hurdles. This event is very similar to the 800m in terms of cardiovascular demands. And Kenyans have dominated the 800m for a long time. What has been lacking is the technical approach that is needed for hurdling.

4 X 400m relay team wins All African gold

Kenya was able to retain the 4 X 400m relay title at the All Africa games in dramatic fashion. Botswana were the hot favourites. Kenya were neck and neck with the Botswana coming into the final leg. No one gave Kenya a chance since Botswana’s anchor was Isaac Makwala who had easily won the 400m gold with s superb time of 44.35, more than half a second ahead of Kenya’s Boniface Mweresa. Botswana also had the 400m bronze medalist Onkabetse Nkobolo plus 800m winner Nijel Amos

However it was Mweresa who prevailed, doggedly holding off Makwala as the latter breathed down his neck. In the last 50m, Mweresa shifted to fifth gear and showed Makwala a clean pair of heels, leaving the tiring Makwala stunned. Mweresa ran an incredible 43.8 second split in the anchor leg. That is even faster than the legendary Samson Kitur who still holds the Kenya 400m records. And is as fast as top 400m like Kirani James.

Kenya’s splits were as follows: Raymond Kibet  (45.5) , Alex Sampao (45.6)  Kiprono Koskei (45.4) Boniface Mweresa (43.8).

What is also amazing is that Kenya was running without Nicholas Bett and Boniface Mucheru. Had they run, Kenya might have broken the national record.

Kenya placed three runners in the 400m finals at the All Africa games with Mweresa winning the silver medal while Sampao and Kibet finished 6th and 8th respectively.

The Kenyan women’s 4 X 400m were not to be left behind either. They won the bronze medal in 3:35.91 which however is still 7 seconds off the Kenya record which was set in 1987. The Kenyan quartet consisted of Hellen Syombua, Annet Mwanzi, Winnie Chebet and Maureen Nyatichi

Eunice Kadogo bags silver in the 100m

Eunice Kadogo was one of the biggest revelations of 2015. She surprised everyone perhaps even herself when she won the silver medal in the 100m at the All Africa games. She was a relatively unknown figure before she arrived in Brazzaville for the games. But she fired a warning shot when she first lowered the Kenyan record with a time of 11.58 in the semi-finals. In the finals she lowered it even further to 11.47. Prior to Kadogo, the record was set by Joyce Odhiambo who set the Kenyan mark at 11.62 in 1987.

New Records Galore

The 2015 season saw a number of Kenyan records fall. Mike Mokamba Nyangau set a 100m record with a time of 10.23. He is the son of Elkanah Nyangau who represented Kenya in the late 1980s over the 400m. Nyangau also earned a ticket to run at the world championships in the 200m.

Carvin Nkanata set a new Kenya record in the 200m with a superb time of 20.14. It was the 23rd fastest time in the world in 2015, marking the first time a Kenyan appeared in the IAAF top lists in the short sprints.


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Kenya 4X400m team wins gold medal in dramatic fashion

The Kenya 4 X 400m team brought down the curtain on the athletic program at the 2015 All African games in dramatic fashion, holding off a strong Botswana team. In the process they set a new games record of 3:00.34.

No one gave Kenya a chance against Botswana. In recent years that country has produced far better quarter milers, most notable Isaac Makwala. Earlier this year, Makwala clocked 43.72 which is the 3rd fastest time in the world this season and puts him in 7th position all time. And Botswana have a strong history in this event having won it in 2003 and 2007 as well as a bronze in 2011.

By the second leg, Botswana had a strong lead courtesy of 800m stalwart Nijel Amos. But Kiprono Kosgei, running Kenya’s 3rd leg, fought back to bring Kenya even when he handed off to Boniface Mweresa for the anchor leg. But not many gave Mweresa much of a chance as he would have to contend with Makwala who had won the gold medal in the 400m race, well ahead of Mweresa who won silver. It looked like it would be a a reprisal of the 1987 All Africa games when David Kitur received the baton ahead of Innocent Egbunike, only for the Nigerian to pass him for gold.

But this time Mweresa had other ideas. The brave Mweresa fought gamely to hold off Makwala. But with 100m to go, Makwala was still on Mweresa’s shoulder and looked like he would soon pass him. Mweresa would have none of it and continued to hold Makwala off until the Botswanan gave up with 40 metres to go.

Kenya had also won this event at the 2011 All Africa games when the quartet of Anderson Mureta, Vincent Mumo, Jonathan Kibet and Mark Mutai won in 3:03.10, two seconds ahead of second placed Nigeria. Prior to that, the last time Kenya had won this event was in 1991 when a team anchored by the legendary Samson Kitur won in 3:03.14.

What makes this win by Kenya amazing is that they achieved this feat without two of their strongest quarter milers: Boniface Tumuti and Nicholas Bett who were rested having participated in the 2015 World athletics championships. Its a shame Kenya did not field a team at the world championships. They clearly would have done well. The time of 3:00.34 would have put them in medal contention in Beijing.  But it bodes well for the 2016 Olympics.

Kenya also did well in the 400m flat race, putting 3 runners in the final and winning silver.

Image courtesy of athletics africa


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Eunice Kadogo sets new Kenya 100m record

21 year old Eunice Kadogo continued Kenya’s brilliant sprinting renaissance at the 2015 All Africa games in Brazzaville Congo. She won the silver medal in the women’s 100m. In the process she also broke the Kenya 100m record with a time of 11.47. The previous record of 11.62 was set by Joyce Odhiambo at the 1987 All Africa games. It lasted an amazing 28 years. Kadogo finished second to Marie-Josee Ta Lou of Cote’d Ivoire who won in 11.02 seconds, a new games record.

This marks the first time that a Kenyan woman has won a medal in the 100m at the All Africa games.Kadogo also anchored the Kenya team that finished in a creditable 4th position in the 4 X 100m.

The performance harkens back to the mid 1980s when Kenyan female sprinters were among Africa’s top sprinters. This was especially the case at the 1984 African championships when Joyce Odhiambo took silver in the 100m while Ruth Atuti and Mabel Esendi took gold and silver in the 400m. Kenya went on to win both women’s relays on that occassion.

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FKF elections: Reformers must unite behind one candidate

The Football Kenya Federation are scheduled for November 13 of 2015. As was the case four years ago, numerous contenders have announced their candidacy. In 2011, pro-reform candidates split their votes amongst several candidates. This left Sam Nyamweya with an easy path to victory. The same scenario is playing out now.

Several candidates are in the running including Kariobangi Sharks chairman Nick Mwendwa. Millionaire philanthropist Gor Semelango has also declared his candidacy. Gor Mahia legend Nahashon Oluoch “Lule” has expressed an interest in running as has Sammy former Tusker striker Shollei, Tom Alila a former aspirant for the Mathare constituency parliamentary seat and former AFC chairman Alex Ole Magelo are also running. Another outsider candidate is Sirisia MP John Waluke.

Shollei and Shikanda annouced their candidacy under the banner “Stop football genocide”

Incumbent Sam Nyamweya is sure to defend his seat. This despite the fact that he has not accomplished anything of note during his 4 years in charge. And Nyamweya will start as the strong favourite. He still has a cadre of officials who are very loyal to him. He has a war chest of hundreds of thousands of dollars that come from FIFA, that he does not have to account for and can easily use to bribe delegates. Note that he also runs FKF activities from his own bank accounts.There are only 94 delegates voting which makes bribery easy.

With all these factors in play, it will be very difficult to dislodge Nyamweya. To stand a chance of ousting him, the pro-reform candidates must unite behind one person. If the pro-reform vote is split among several candidates, Nyamweya will win handily. And Kenya football fans will be doomed to another four years of misery.  But will the candidates put the interests of the nation ahead of theirs?

In 2011, Sammy Shollei was the only candidate who decided to throw his support behind Hussein Mohamed. It remains to be seen whether there are any selfless candidates in 2015.

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Faith Kipyegon breaks Africa mile record


Faith Kipyegon is finally fulfilling the promise she had showed during her youth and junior days. After winning a silver medal at the recent world athletics championships, the 21 year old set a new Africa record in the one mile race at the Memorial Van Damne Diamond League event in Brussels on Friday.

Kipyegon showed a lot of promise during her junior days: In 2011 she won the world cross country championships junior event. In 2012 she won the gold medal in the world youth championships. And in 2013 while only 19, she set a new Kenya record in the 1500m.

On Friday in Brussels, she outran pre-race favourite, Sifan Hassan of the Netherlands who had hoped to challenge the world record. World indoor 800m champion Chanelle Price did the early pace making, passing 400m in 1:02.61 and 800m in 2:05.69.Sifan Hassan followed the rabbits closely with only Kipyegon following close.

Once the rabbits had dropped out, Kipyegon challenged Hassan for the lead as the pace dropped on the third lap.

Kipyegon and Hassan would jockey back and forth for the lead during the last lap. But in the last 90m, Kipyegon found an extra gear and Hassan had no answer.

Hassan held on for second with a national record of 4:18.20. As was the case in Monaco earlier in the year, USA’s Shannon Rowbury beat compatriot Jenny Simpson, 4:22.10 to 4:22.18.

In the all time list of mile runners, Kipyegon is now tied with Mary Slaney of the USA. Kipyegon’s time was the fastest time in the world in the last 19 years.

Race Video

Race Results


Details 1 Faith Chepngetich Kipyegon KENKEN 4:16.71 8
Details 2 Sifan Hassan NEDNED 4:18.20 4
Details 3 Shannon Rowbury USAUSA 4:22.10 2
Details 4 Jennifer Simpson USAUSA 4:22.18
Details 5 Mercy Cherono KENKEN 4:22.67
Details 6 Abeba Aregawi SWESWE 4:23.07
Details 7 Rababe Arafi MARMAR 4:23.50
Details 8 Viola Jelagat Kibiwot KENKEN 4:24.31
Details 9 Renata Plis POLPOL 4:25.32
Details 10 Axumawit Embaye ETHETH 4:26.84
Details 11 Sofia Ennaoui POLPOL 4:27.32
Details 12 Nancy Chepkwemoi KENKEN 4:28.66
Details Malika Akkaoui MARMAR DNF


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Sum, Kipsiele, Kiprop shine in Zurich


Fresh off their superlative performance at the 2015 World Athletics championships where they topped the medal table, Kenyan athletes were in sensational form yet again at the Weltklasse Zurich Diamond League meet.

Eunice Sum, Jairus Birech and Asbel Kiprop all won their races in convincing fashion.

Sum resumes Diamond League supremacy

Going into the 2015 world championships, Eunice Sum was one of the strongest favourites. She had not lost a single diamond league race in 2015.. She surprisingly ended up being beaten into 3rd place. However on Friday in Zurich, she put aside her disappointment to win and thus continue her thorough dominance of the Diamond League circuit where she still has not lost in 2015.

Unlike in past races where Sum typically leads and controls the pace, she sat back. In the first lap, she was in 3rd place behind the pace setter and the American Channelle Price. With 300m to go, Sum had dropped back to 5th place and looked like she had no chance at winning. Fabienne Kohlmann had built a large lead. But Sum made her move with 150m to go and easily passed Kohlmann in the final straight.

Race Video

Details 1 Eunice Jepkoech Sum KENKEN 1:59.14 8
Details 2 Lynsey Sharp GBRGBR 1:59.37 4
Details 3 Fabienne Kohlmann GERGER 1:59.68 2
Details 4 Sifan Hassan NEDNED 1:59.95
Details 5 Marina Arzamasova BLRBLR 2:00.69
Details 6 Renelle Lamote FRAFRA 2:00.75
Details 7 Joanna Józwik POLPOL 2:01.36
Details 8 Brenda Martinez USAUSA 2:02.00
Details 9 Chanelle Price USAUSA 2:02.14
Details 10 Selina Büchel SUISUI 2:02.43
Details 11 Shelayna Oskan-Clarke GBRGBR 2:05.91

Evergreen Paul Kipsiele Koech still going strong after a decade

Steeplechaser Paul Kipsiele Koech has been at it for more than a decade. On Friday he beat a strong field including all the medalists at the 2015 world championships to win the 3000m steeplechase. His time of 8:10.24 is a season’s best. Since he made his debut in 2002, Kipsiele has run under 8:10 at least once every season. He holds the 3rd fastest time in the history of the event at 7:54.31. Though he does really well in rabbitted races, he has had no success in championship races which are mostly tactical.

Race Video

Details 1 Paul Kipsiele Koech KENKEN 8:10.24 8
Details 2 Jairus Kipchoge Birech KENKEN 8:15.64 4
Details 3 Evan Jager USAUSA 8:18.39 2
Details 4 Ezekiel Kemboi KENKEN 8:21.16
Details 5 Brahim Taleb MARMAR 8:23.00
Details 6 Conseslus Kipruto KENKEN 8:24.35
Details 7 Brimin Kiprop Kipruto KENKEN 8:24.66
Details 8 Matthew Hughes CANCAN 8:25.45
Details 9 Jonathan Muia Ndiku KENKEN 8:26.84
Details 10 Lawrence Kemboi Kipsang KENKEN 8:30.96
Details 11 Abel Kiprop Mutai KENKEN 8:31.88
Details 12 Krystian Zalewski POLPOL 8:32.55
Details 13 Clement Kemboi Kimutai KENKEN 8:33.16
Details 14 Daniel Huling USAUSA 8:33.44
Details 15 Yoann Kowal FRAFRA 8:45.96

Asbel Kiprop makes it look easy again

Miler Asbel Kiprop has been in imperious form this season, winning races with incredible ease. In some cases he has set a searing pace and finished 10m ahead of the rest of the field. In other cases he has lagged behind only to pass the entire field world class field.. Such was the case in Zurich on Friday. With 300m to go, Kiprop was in 10th position. Henrik Ingebrigtsen of Norway had taken off like a rocket with one lap to go and set up a 20m lead. Kiprop started to make his move with 250m to go, using his long legs to eat up the track. With 70m to go it looked inevitable that Kiprop would pass Henrik Ingebrigtsen of Norway who had set up a 20m lead.

Elijah Manangoi was impressive once again with a searing final 100m that saw go from 5th place to 2nd place. Nineteen year Robert Biwott was 3rd and looks like he has a bright future

Race Video

Details 1 Asbel Kiprop KENKEN 3:35.79 8
Details 2 Elijah Motonei Manangoi KENKEN 3:36.01 4
Details 3 Robert Kiptoo Biwott KENKEN 3:36.04 2
Details 4 Abdalaati Iguider MARMAR 3:36.11
Details 5 Ronald Kwemoi KENKEN 3:36.60
Details 6 Henrik Ingebrigtsen NORNOR 3:37.37
Details 7 Caleb Mwangangi Ndiku KENKEN 3:38.13
Details 8 Robby Andrews USAUSA 3:38.78
Details 9 Silas Kiplagat KENKEN 3:39.69
Details 10 Charlie Grice GBRGBR 3:39.79
Details 11 Leonel Manzano USAUSA 3:41.27
Details 12 Jakub Holuša CZECZE 3:41.90


In other races, David Rudisha could not replicate his world championship victory. He ended up 4th in the 800m. He has done well this year to come back from injury and win the most important race of the season. He should probably call it a season, and get enough rest for next season which is an Olympic season.

Mercy Cherono was well beaten by the Ethiopian women in the 3000m. She finished 5th Also in the race was Vivian Cheruiyot who admitted before the race that the distance was too short for her. She was 6th.

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