A review of Kenya vs Chile


Team Kenya at the Hong Kong airport

 

South American side Chile, gave Kenya a dose of reality and brought home the fact that Kenya still has a long way to go if it is to make any kind of significant impact in world rugby. Chile were clearly the better side and the match exposed some significant gaps in Kenya’s game some of which can be fixed in the short term, but some of which require a long term plan.

Poor Ball Handling

Kenya missed scoring opportunities due to dropped balls. In some cases, set pieces were ruined due to very basic handling errors at the base of the scrum. Phases ended due to dropped balls.

Good ball handling is something that needs to be developed during a player’s formative years through constant ball handling drills. As such poor / unstructured coaching at secondary school level is the main culprit. The KRFU has basically outsourced player development to the schools yet most schools don’t even have qualified coaches. This is an issue that must be fixed long term with KRFU working closely with the schools.

A small percentage of the ball handling errors were a result of lack of focus. This is something coach Jerome Paarwater can fix.

Kenya is too predictable: Lack of Variety in moves

All Kenya’s backline moves involve swinging the ball wide down the backline. There are no sudden changes of direction to confuse defences, no decoy runs, no zig zag runs. As such Chile found it very easy to defend against Kenya.

Kenya’s inability to perform innovative backline moves is once again due to poor ball handling. You cannot run these complex backline moves if players cannot handle passes. As such coacj Jerome Paarwaters options are limited.

Kenya’s pack moves are also very predictable and basically involve trying to gain hard yards by running through tackles using brute force. Again there is no variety.

When Kenya beat Zimbabwe earlier this year, it was because Zim had no answer for Kenya’s power. The likes of Kopo simply sliced through the Zim defence using power. However against the likes of Chile and Namibia, Kenya runs into brick walls and some guile is needed.

Note: This inability to create variety in backline moves is also an achiles heel for Kenya in sevens. Indeed Chile has beaten in Kenya at sevens on a couple of occasions and almost beat Kenya in Lav vegas in 2017 despite Kenya having faster/ bigger players.

Poor Scrummaging

The Kenyan pack was bigger than the Chilean pack. The front row of Karia, Amusala and Lilako were clearly bigger than their Chilean counterparts as were the backrow trio of Kopondo, Chisanga and Mangeni. Yet the Kenyan pack was overwhelmed by Chile in scrumdowns and constantly put under pressure.

Why would a smaller Chile pack overwhelm Kenya. One culprit might be poor scrummaging technique. Proper technique is supposed to be taught at secondary school level. In other nations, each school likely has a scrumming machine, which is a critical component in teaching proper technique.

Tackling: A strength for Kenya

Having watched Kenya rugby for decades now, one aspect of Kenya rugby that has drastically improved is defence. Kenya’s tackling was on point and there were numerous try saving tackles. Chile had a lot of possession and would have scored several tries had it not been for timely tackles by Kenya. This is a stark contrast to what pertained in the Kenya national team as recently as 10 years ago when tackling was abysmal.

Match report

Courtesy of the Daily Nation
Kenya Simbas launched their Hong Kong Cup of Nations campaign on a wrong footing when they were crushed 23-3 by Chile at the Kings Park grounds, Hong Kong on Friday.

Simbas failed to score a single try in a woeful display that was characterised by poor ball handling from Jerome Paarwater’s boys while the Chileans exhibited powerful runs for the touch downs.

The Simbas’ hunt had a turbulent start when Nato Simiyu and Davis Chenge were sin-binned, forcing Biko Adema and Eric Kerre to cover up for them.

Chile could only manage a penalty through Tomas Ianiszewski as Kenya put up some good defence and upon the return of Nato and Chenge, Simbas upped their game with Darwin Mukidza curling over a penalty to draw level 3-3.

The Chileans easily won turnovers after capitalising on Simbas’ poor ball handling in the ruck to go 6-3 up at the break from another penalty.

Chile were in a class of their own in the second half, pinning the Kenyans in their own half but failed to stretch their lead after getting a penalty that Ianiszewski blasted low.

The unrelenting Chileans finally got their first try through Ianiszewski, who went on to convert to stretch their lead to 13-3.

Ianiszewski then converted Benjamin Soto’s try after a superb flow from the Chileans to go up 20-3.

Ianiszewski added another penalty to see Chile go 23-3 to leave the hapless Simbas stunned.

Russia scored a last-gasp penalty to tame Hong Kong 16-13 in the second match of the tournament.

The championships resume on Tuesday next week where Kenya take on Russia with Hong Kong playing Chile.

It will draw to a close on November 18 where Kenya will play Hong Kong with the Russian testing the Chileans.

The Simbas are using the championship to prepare for next year’s 2019 Rugby World Cup qualifiers.

 

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Kamworor wins New York Marathon: His first ever


Up to this point Geoffrey Kamwror has been known as a cross country and half marathon specialist. Indeed Kamworor is the defending champion of the world cross country championships and world half marathon championships. On Sunday in New York, he won his first major city marathon when he won the New York marathon with a time of 2:10:53

Kamworor made his move at the 23 mile mark, A this point there were seven athletes in the lead group, with . He surged through the 23rd mile in 4:44, which reduced his rivals to three: Lemi Berhanu and Lelisa Desisa of Ethiopia and Wilson Kipsang of Kenya.

Then Berhanu dropped off at the 25 mile mark.  Kamwror unleased a 4:31 mile at the 25th mile mark. Neither Desisa nor Kipsang had an answer . He led Kipsang by seve seconds with a mile left. But Kipsan surged and closed the gap. But it was too late as he finished just three seconds behind Kamworor in 2:10:56.

Kamworor was elated at the win.

“What was in my mind was that I was a champion and I had to have enough belief in my sprint,” said Kamworor. “I knew I had made a decisive move but when I looked I saw Kipsang and I had to lift myself.”

Results

MEN –
1. Geoffrey Kamworor (KEN) 2:10:53
2. Wilson Kipsang (ETH) 2:10:56
3. Lelisa Desisa (ETH) 2:11:32
4. Lemi Berhanu (ETH) 2:11:52
5. Tadesse Abraham (SUI) 2:12:01

WOMEN –
1. Shalane Flanagan (USA) 2:26:53
2. Mary Keitany (KEN) 2:27:54
3. Mamitu Daska (ETH) 2:28:08
4. Edna Kiplagat (KEN) 2:29:36
5. Allie Kieffer (USA) 2:29:39

 


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Lisanga ya Bambanda by Mbilia Bel (Translation and Lyrics)

Introduction

The song Lisanga Ya Bambanda (Association of rivals) was composed by Tabu Ley. Two versions of this song were produced. One was sung by Tabu Ley and the other by Mbilia Bel.

Video

Lyrics and Translation

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Joyciline Jepkosgei sets world half marathon record

Kenya’s Joyciline Jepkosgei has been in excellent form in 2017. In April of this year she had set a new world half marathon record at 1:04:52  during a race in Prague. On Sunday October 22, she kept her momentum alive at the Valencia Trinidad Alfonso Half Marathon, taking one second off her own world record* to win the IAAF Gold Label road race in 1:04:51.

She started out on a torrid pace reaching the first 5km in a frantic 14:52, and  was timed at 30:09 at 10 kilometres, ,well ahead of her own world record pace. But the torrid pace took its toll and she slowed down, reaching the 15kn mark in 45:37. She the picked up the pace, cheered on by the crowd to finish in 1:04:51.

“It was my first race in Valencia, I enjoyed a lot, the weather is nice, the circuit is perfect to run fast,” said Jepkosgei, who will turn 24 in December. “I hope to come back in March for the World Half Marathon Championships.” she said.

22 year old Fancy Chemutai finished second and Lucy Cheruiyot was third as Kenya swept the top three positions ahead of Ethiopian track star Gelete Burka

Results

1 Joyciline Jepkosgei (KEN) 1:04:51
2 Fancy Chemutai (KEN) 1:05:36
3 Lucy Cheruiyot (KEN) 1:07:31
4 Gelete Burka (ETH) 1:08:18
5 Paskalia Chepkorir (KEN) 1:09:08
6 Trihas Gebre (ESP) 1:09:57
7 Birhan Mhretu (ETH) 1:10:00
8 Azmera Gebru Hagos (ETH) 1:10:40

 


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Mwendwa is a good FKF chair but this Okumbi business will ruin his legacy

Nick Mwendwa’s election as FKF chair was indeed a breath of fresh air for the long suffering fans of Kenya football. Kenyans had had to endure nearly two decades of incompetent and corrupt leaders like Sam Nyamweya, Mohamed Hatimy, Maina Kariuki as well as absentee leaders like Alfred Sambu.

Indeed Mwendwa is the best Federation leader that Kenya has had since 1998 when Peter Kenneth was the chairman. But there is one thing that ruined Kenneth’s legacy and that was the selection of the unproven Abdul Majid as national team coach. It was a misguided attempt at promoting local talent. Majid had been coach at Rivatex FC but his record there was nothing to write home about. He went on to be an abysmal coach for Harambee stars and his coaching career ended.

Mwendwa is making the same error with Stan Okumbi. The latter had previously been coach of Mathare United where he resigned due to below par performances. He then became coach at Kariobangi Sharks. But his CV is very thin. Coaches should only be selected to coach national teams when they have paid their dues in terms of coaching at various levels , learning from their mistakes and applying their lessons. It is the same reason even the most intelligent among us cannot go straight from being a University graduate to being a CEO of a major company.

Okumbi’s record this far

His record include narrow home wins in friendlies over Mozambique, Liberia, Congo Brazza and Congo DR. There have been draws at home to Uganda and away to Zambia as well as draw with Mauritania in Morocco and a loss to Morocco U23. Then there were two losses to Guinea Bissau, as well as losses to Sierra Leone, Iraq and Thailand

Okumbi’s record thus far is clearly not impressive. The single goal wins over teams like Liberia can be attributed to playing at home and to the fact that Harambee stars had much better preparations than they did when Nyamweya was boss. Indeed the best thing Mwendwa has done so far is to always ensure that Stars have proper preparations and play in a sufficient number of friendlies to build cohesion. But he is ruining it all by insisting on having an inexperienced coach.

 


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Mwendwa’s defence of Okumbi doesn’t make sense


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The Kenya national team recently concluded a tour of Asia during which their performance was sub par. A loss to Iraq was followed by another loss to Thailand, a team that was ranked 49 places below Kenya in the FIFA rankings. In both matches, Kenya displayed very little imagination or attacking flair. They created hardly any chances and lacked cohesion. Calls for the replacement of coach Stan Okumbi with a more suitable coach which had been gaining momentum, finally reached a crescendo.

Nick Mwendwa has taken to social media and finally to TV to defend his choice of Stan Okumbi as coach. In the video below, his defence of Okumbi starts at the 33:28 mark.

In the paragraphs below we analyze each of Okumbi’s responses.

 

Mwendwa: About Okumbi, there is a group of people who are obsessed with firing of coaches. It does not work. Joachim Low has been coaching Germany since 2004……………..

Comparing Low to Okumbi is comical. Low has a glittering CV that includes winning the world cup and reaching the semi-finals of the Euros twice. And Low paid his dues by coaching in the youth level for 10 years as well as coaching clubs in Germany, Turkey and Austria. During this time he has several ups and downs. But he honed his skills and learned from his mistakes. He was then selected as assistant national team coach to Juergen Klinsmann.. It was during this time that national team players took notice of his tactical acumen. So when Klinsmann left , Low was selected.

This is a starke contrast to Okumbi who had no proven record, had not paid his dues and yet was somehow selected ahead of far more experienced coaches like Twahir Muhiddin, James Nandwa and others.

Mwendwa: I want to analyze performances. At the point when we shall conclude that Okumbi is unable, he shall go

Most fans and experts have already concluded that Okumbi will not hack it. Four straight losses to the Sierra Leone, Morocco U23 team, Iraq and Thailand have driven that point home. There have been some wins but they were not impressive. Kenya did indeed beat Congo-Brazzaville, Mozambique, Liberia at home. But those are single goal wins are to be expected. The only impressive win was an away win over Congo DR.

Mwendwa: I never promised that we shall win AFCON. I never promised AFCON 2019

But Kenyans have seen their neighbours Uganda qualify for Africa’s premier tournament. There is a generation of Kenyans that have known nothing nut mediocrity. They want to see Kenya qualify for a major tournament now. Kenya has not qualified for any tournament in 14 years and at this rate, many fans fear that they may never see anything of the sort happen in their lifetimes.

Mwendwa: We want to develop a group of coaches into world class coaches

National teams should not be used as a platform to develop coaches. To develop coaches, give local coaches appropriate training and let them use KPL clubs as a proving ground. The national team should not be used for experiments.

Mwendwa: We dont want to spend US 25,000 or 40,000 per month on foreign coaches when we have not created the raw materials

You need not spend that much on a coach. There are numerous capable coaches who are available for much less than that. In fact in the past few years, we have seen good coaches like Zdravko Logarusic, Stewart Hall, Frank Nuttall and others ply their trade in Kenya and produce excellent results

Mwendwa: When we invest in raw materials, we shall find that Okumbi or Kamau are ready for the task

By the time you conclude that Okumbi is incapable, Kenya will have already been eliminated from AFCON 2019 contention. Which is a shame considering that the number of teams that will participate in AFCON has expanded from 16 to 24.

Mwendwa: If Okumbi is unable to win CECAFA then we shall take action.

Winning a lower tier tournament like CECAFA at home should not be a determining factor. In CECAFA, teams typically send second string teams

Conclusion

This author has no personal issues with either Mwendwa or Okumbi but we think Okumbi should have had to prove himself on the local scene over several years before being given the mantle of national team coach. Giving a coach who has no proven record of success, the reins to the national team is comical at the least.

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Mwendwa’s defence of Okumbi does not make sense

The Kenya national team recently concluded a tour of Asia during which their performance was sub par. A loss to Iraq was followed by another loss to Thailand, a team that was ranked 49 places below Kenya in the FIFA rankings. In both matches, Kenya displayed very little imagination or attacking flair. They created hardly any chances and lacked cohesion. Calls for the replacement of coach Stan Okumbi with a more suitable coach which had been gaining momentum, finally reached a crescendo.

Nick Mwendwa has taken to social media and finally to TV to defend his choice of Stan Okumbi as coach. In the video below, his defence of Okumbi starts at the 33:28 mark.

In the paragraphs below we analyze each of Okumbi’s responses.

 

Mwendwa: About Okumbi, there is a group of people who are obsessed with firing of coaches. It does not work. Joachim Low has been coaching Germany since 2004……………..

Comparing Low to Okumbi is comical. Low has a glittering CV that includes winning the world cup and reaching the semi-finals of the Euros twice. And Low paid his dues by coaching in the youth level for 10 years as well as coaching clubs in Germany, Turkey and Austria. During this time he has several ups and downs. But he honed his skills and learned from his mistakes. He was then selected as assistant national team coach to Juergen Klinsmann.. It was during this time that national team players took notice of his tactical acumen. So when Klinsmann left , Low was selected.

This is a starke contrast to Okumbi who had no proven record, had not paid his dues and yet was somehow selected ahead of far more experienced coaches like Twahir Muhiddin, James Nandwa and others.

Mwendwa: I want to analyze performances. At the point when we shall conclude that Okumbi is unable, he shall go

Most fans and experts have already concluded that Okumbi will not hack it. Four straight losses to the Sierra Leone, Morocco U23 team, Iraq and Thailand have driven that point home. There have been some wins but they were not impressive. Kenya did indeed beat Congo-Brazzaville, Mozambique, Liberia at home. But those are single goal wins are to be expected. The only impressive win was an away win over Congo DR.

Mwendwa: I never promised that we shall win AFCON. I never promised AFCON 2019

But Kenyans have seen their neighbours Uganda qualify for Africa’s premier tournament. There is a generation of Kenyans that have known nothing nut mediocrity. They want to see Kenya qualify for a major tournament now. Kenya has not qualified for any tournament in 14 years and at this rate, many fans fear that they may never see anything of the sort happen in their lifetimes.

Mwendwa: We want to develop a group of coaches into world class coaches

National teams should not be used as a platform to develop coaches. To develop coaches, give local coaches appropriate training and let them use KPL clubs as a proving ground. The national team should not be used for experiments.

Mwendwa: We dont want to spend US 25,000 or 40,000 per month on foreign coaches when we have not created the raw materials

You need not spend that much on a coach. There are numerous capable coaches who are available for much less than that. In fact in the past few years, we have seen good coaches like Zdravko Logarusic, Stewart Hall, Frank Nuttall and others ply their trade in Kenya and produce excellent results

Mwendwa: When we invest in raw materials, we shall find that Okumbi or Kamau are ready for the task

By the time you conclude that Okumbi is incapable, Kenya will have already been eliminated from AFCON 2019 contention. Which is a shame considering that the number of teams that will participate in AFCON has expanded from 16 to 24.

Mwendwa: If Okumbi is unable to win CECAFA then we shall take action.

Winning a lower tier tournament like CECAFA at home should not be a determining factor. In CECAFA, teams typically send second string teams

Conclusion

This author has no personal issues with either Mwendwa or Okumbi but we think Okumbi should have had to prove himself on the local scene over several years before being given the mantle of national team coach. Giving a coach who has no proven record of success, the reins to the national team is comical at the least.

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AFC Leopards vs Al Ahly in 1987 (plus video)

One of the most memorable events in the history of Kenyan football was the encounter pitting the then Kenyan champions AFC Leopards against Egyptian giants Al Ahly also known as Nationale. This second round matchup was a tension filled event with plenty of anticipation by AFC Leopards fans.

Background
AFC qualified to represent Kenya in the 1987 Africa champions cup by winning the Kenya national football league in 1986. Except they did not just win the league. They won it in dominant fashion, winning 33 out of 38 matches, drawing 5 and losing no matches. At the end of the season, they had ammased 71 points, 10 points ahead of second placed Gor Mahia and 21 points ahead of third placed Scarlet.

It was a formidable AFC Leopards side that had also won the CECAFA club cup in 1979, 1982, 1983 and 1984. Players like Joe Masiga, Wilberforce Mulamba, Josphat Murila and Mahmoud Abbas had become household names all over East and Central Africa.

And Leopards were the best funded team in Kenya with a wealthy benefactor in Afred Sambu. Also they were the only team in Kenya with a corporate sponsor (Crown Paints).

Al Ahly for their part were the most formidable side in Africa. They had won the Egyptian league in 1985 and 1986 and more importantly had won the Africa cup winners cup in 1984, 1985 and 1986. And when Egypt won the Africa cup of nations in 1986, Al Ahly provided 10 players. The most notable among these was Taher Abou Zeid who had been the top scorer in the FIFA U21 cup in 1981 and top scorer in the Africa nations cup of 1984. Other national team players included Magdy Abdelghani, Hossam Hassan, Mohamed Ramadhan, Rabbie Yassin and goalkeepers Thabet Al Batal and Ahmed Shoubeir. All were well known all over Africa.

The two sides had met earlier in 1981 with Al Ahly winning 3-1 at home and drawing 1-1 in Nairobi. AFC had qualified for the second round by beating Tanzanian champions Maji Maji FC 1-0 at home and 1-0 away. Al Ahly for their part qualfied for the second round by beating Pantheros Noires of Rwanda 5-1 on aggregate.

First Leg

It was always going to be a daunting task for AFC Leopards, playing what was by then the best team in Africa, and playing in front of an intimidating crowd of 100,000 rabid fans. AFC Leopards were completely overwhelmed by the highly experienced and highly technical Egyptians. By halftime the score was 4-0 in favour of Al Ahly, who went on to add two more for a final score of 6-0.

 Match Video

Al Ahly displayed the typical North African technical skills with efficient movement off the ball, pin point passing and accurate finishing. Concepts that were completely foreign in Kenya where a teams performance was typically dependent on a players individual dribbling skills and passing and finishing was innacurate.

After the match, AFC Leopards Welsh coach Graham Williams, while trying to explain the debacle to the media, said that Al Ahly were a far superior team to AFC Leopards. So superior that he thought they could compete against any team in Europe. His remarks angered AFC Leopards chairman Alfred Sambu and Williams was promptly fired. Joe Masiga took over as player coach.

During this period, AFC Leopards had a very strong home record. They sought to strengthen it by playing the return leg at Bukhungu stadium in Kakamega where they thought the fanatical following would help them prevail. Al Ahly arrived in Kakamega several days before the match and trained at Kakamega high school. On match day, the driving rain rendered the playing conditions difficult for the Egyptians. The pitch was drenched in rain water which interefered with their passing game. The drenched field however suited AFC who thrived on long balls and speed down the flanks. Within 20 minutes, AFC Leopards were up 2-0 with both goals coming from Masiga and it looked like they might reverse the first leg score. However Al Ahly gathered themselves and even scored one goal. The final score was 2-1 in favour of AFC Leopards. The final aggregate score was 7-2. But AFC and in particular Joe Masiga had redeemed themselves. Not only did Masiga score twice but he was also responsible for coaching on the field and substituting and inspiring players.


JJ Masiga taking on Al Ahly defender Mahmoud Saleh


Wilberforce Mulamba in action at Bukhungu stadium against Al Ahly

Afterwards, the Zimbabwean referee accused AFC chairman Alfred Sambu of having tried to bribe him. The matter was reported to CAF and Sambu was suspended for two years by CAF. A year earlier Sambu had been accused of bribing players of Gor Mahia AFC before the first leg derby of 1986.

Al Ahly went on to win the Africa champions cup in 1987. The club has won more African club tournaments than any other. They also provided the bulk of the players who won the gold medal at the 1987 All Africa games in Nairobi. Two Al Ahly players: Taher Abou Zeid and Magdy Abdeelghani were voted among the ten best African players. Interestingly, two Kenyan players Peter Dawo and Ambrose Ayoyi were also voted among the ten best African players. It marks the only time two Kenyan players have made this list

 


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Osilisi ngai mayele by Josky Kiambukuta (Translation and Lyrics)

Introduction

This song was released in 1987 as part of the album named Franco Present Josky Kiambukuta. The album featured two other songs: Kita Mata Bloque and Minzata. It marked Josky’s return to TPOK Jazz after he had left the band in 1986 to pursue solo projects with Ntesa Dalienst and others.

Osilisi Ngai Mayele is a rendition of Josky’s 1979 hit Tokabola sentiment. This time Josky is joined on lead vocals by the then new sensation, the youthful Malage De Lugendo. It is a song about a woman who  has been deserted by her husband, a man known as Lukusa Tanzi. She tells Lukusa to return to the marriage though he has strayed.

Video

Lyrics and Translation

Josky’s first solo

Malage de Lugendo’s first solo

Josky’s second solo

Malage de Lugendo’s second solo

 

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Lets hope Tergat emulates Mike Boit not Kipchoge Keino

Paul Tergat has been elected the president of the National Olympic Committee of Kenya (NOCK). For most Kenyans his election is a breath of fresh air. NOCK has been the most corruption ridden and incompetent sports organization in Kenya. The officials have been raking in millions of Kenya shillings in underhanded deals while completely neglecting to perform even the most basic duties that are required of them. At the 2011 and 2015 All Africa games as well as the 2008 and 2012 Olympics and the 2010 and 2014 Commonwealth games, the Kenyan delegation was let down by poor organization which demoralized athletes and cost Kenya medals. But it was the 2016 Olympics which ended up being a fiasco of epic proportions. Among the scandalous occurrences at the 2016 Olympics included:

  • Kenyan coaches like John Anzrah and Catherine Ndereba going without food and having to plead with runners to give them food or allow them to use their badges to eat at the athletes village.
  • A paperwork mixup caused sprinter Carvin Nkanata to be disqualified. He had to fly home. He later won his appeal, and flew back to Rio just in time to run. The resulting jet lag doomed his performance. The fiasco seems to have caused him to give up on running
  • Boxes of Uniforms and other equipment that was supplied by sponsors like Nike and meant for the athletes, were stolen by officials.
  • Athletes were forced to move into a shanty after they were kicked out of the athletes village but had no tickets to return home.
  • Meanwhile NOCK officials were pocketing millions of Kenya shillings that was meant for the athletes.
  • Eliud Kipchoge could not find water to rehydrate during the marathon race.

 

All these scandals happened while Kipchoge Keino was NOCK chairman. You would think a man who represented Kenya would be able to at a minimum look out for the welfare of athletes. But instead Keino not only presided over the corruption and incompetence, but he himself was neck deep in the corruption and theft. In fact his daughter in law took pictures of herself in the stolen uniforms and posted them on twitter.

The corruption was so brazen that Keino did not even have any qualms about demanding that he be re-elected again. Kenyan athletes succeeded on the track and these officials took credit for it. This despite the fact that they were not involved in any way shape of form in the preparations. Ask any of these guys what training program  Eliud Kipchoge did to prepare for the Olympic marathon and they could not tell you. Not even Keino.

Tergat is one of the most succesful track athletes of all time in the whole world. He is a five time world cross country champion, two time world half marathon champion. He won numerous city marathons such as the New York marathon and the Berlin Marathon where he set a world record in 2004. His record on the track was excellent. But can he clean up the mess at NOCK? Can he emulate Mike Boit?

Mike Boit had an illustrious and long running career which included winning a gold medal at the 1978 commonwealth games and a bronze medal at the 1972 Olympics. But it was when he was appointed Kenya sports commissioner in 1990 that he really made his mark. Before his arrival at KNSC, Kenyan athletes were thoroughly and utterly exploited by officials in charge of athletics. The officials would demand a cut of every penny that an athlete made. If an athlete refused to comply, he would not be allowed to leave the country to go and compete and make money. And this was during an era when opportunities to make money by running were few and far between. The officials would also take a huge cut off any reward money given by politicians to athletes. In some cases, the money disappeared before it even made it into the hands of the athlete.

Such was the case of Stephen Muchoki who was given a gift of 34 grade cows by Jomo Kenyatta and never saw any of them because the officials took them. There was also the case of heavyweight boxer James Demosh Omondi who after his performance at the 1984 Olympics in LA, was invited to become a sparring partner for a boxer who was going to challenge for a world title. He was to earn hundreds of US$ per day. At the time Demosh was a soldier. A senior army officer demanded a cut of the money. Demosh baulked and the army refused to give him permission to go.

Mike Boit ended these exploitative acts when he became chairman of KNSC in 1990. He ushered in an era where runners could pocket their hard earned financial gains without worrying about officials demanding a cut.

Kenyans will be hoping that at a minimum Tergat will stop the corruption, poor organization and theft that bedevils NOCK. Equipment that is donated by sponsors should go to the athletes. The athletes who sacrifice their time and often money to run for their country are the ones who should be getting financial rewards that come from sponsors and not the officials. Money should be well accounted for.

Over and above that, Kenyans will be hoping that Tergat can come up with a program to boost the performance of the country in other sports besides athletics. Kenya has become so dependent on athletics that the country cannot win medals in any other sport be it the Olympics, the Commonwealth games or even the All Africa games. Now contrast this with Nigeria which won 11 gold , 11 silver and 14 bronze at the 2014 Commonwealth games from a wide variety of sports like power-lifting, boxing, table-tennis and wrestling.

Instead of allowing NOCK officials to pocket millions of shillings from sponsors, the money could be channeled towards developing young athletes who could represent Kenya in the future as well as by hiring could coaches who can teach modern techniques.

It will be a tall order for Tergat. NOCK  has been rife with corruption and theft for years. The good news for Tergat is that some of the most corrupt NOCK officials were not re-elected. The list includes Keino, Ben Ekumbo and Stephen arap Soi all of whom were implicated in grand corruption schemes. The bad news some of the bad elements from the past retained their positions.

 


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