Kenya finishes second at the 2019 world athletics championships

 

Kenya performed brilliantly at the 2019 world athletics championships. They finished second behind perennial winners the United States

Medal Table

RANK COUNTRY TOTAL
1 UNITED STATES 14 11 4 29
2 KENYA 5 2 4 11
3 JAMAICA 3 5 4 12
4 PR OF CHINA 3 3 3 9
5 ETHIOPIA 2 5 1 8
6 GREAT BRITAIN & N.I. 2 3 0 5
7 GERMANY 2 0 4 6
8 JAPAN 2 0 1 3
9 NETHERLANDS 2 0 0 2
9 UGANDA 2 0 0 2
11 POLAND 1 2 3 6
12 BAHRAIN 1 1 1 3
12 CUBA 1 1 1 3
12 SWEDEN 1 1 1 3
15 BAHAMAS 1 1 0 2
16 QATAR 1 0 1 2
17 AUSTRALIA 1 0 0 1
17 GRENADA 1 0 0 1
17 NORWAY 1 0 0 1
17 VENEZUELA 1 0 0 1
21 ESTONIA 0 2 0 2
21 UKRAINE 0 2 0 2
23 CANADA 0 1 4 5
24 BELGIUM 0 1 1 2
24 COLOMBIA 0 1 1 2
24 FRANCE 0 1 1 2
27 ALGERIA 0 1 0 1
27 BOSNIA-HERZEGOVINA 0 1 0 1
27 PORTUGAL 0 1 0 1
30 AUSTRIA 0 0 2 2
31 BURKINA FASO 0 0 1 1
31 COTE D’IVOIRE 0 0 1 1
31 CROATIA 0 0 1 1
31 ECUADOR 0 0 1 1
31 SPAIN 0 0 1 1
31 GREECE 0 0 1 1
31 HUNGARY 0 0 1 1
31 ITALY 0 0 1 1
31 MOROCCO 0 0 1 1
31 NAMIBIA 0 0 1 1
31 NIGERIA 0 0 1 1
31 NEW ZEALAND 0 0 1 1
31 SWITZERLAND 0 0 1 1

Gold Medalists

Rose Chepngetich, Womens marathon: In the heat and humidity of Doha, brave Rose Chepngetich pushed the pace for much of the race. Nearly half the runners dropped out, some collapsed due to the heat. Others were taken away in wheelchairs. Chepngetich came into the race and she did not dissapoint. She was clearly well prepared for the extreme conditions.

1Ruth CHEPNGETICHKEN2:32:43

POS ATHLETE COUNTRY MARK
2 Rose CHELIMO BRN 2:33:46
3 Helalia JOHANNES NAM 2:34:15
4 Edna Ngeringwony KIPLAGAT KEN 2:35:36 SB
5 Volha MAZURONAK BLR 2:36:21
6 Roberta GRONER USA 2:38:44
7 Mizuki TANIMOTO JPN 2:39:09
8 Ji Hyang KIM PRK 2:41:24
9 Lyndsay TESSIER CAN 2:42:03 SB
10 Un Ok JO PRK 2:42:23

 

Beatrice Chepkoech: Women’s 3000m Steeplechase: Chepkoech came in as an overwhelming favourite. She has only lost one race since 2018 and has won most of her races by a significant margin. She did not dissapoint, winning the race easily.

Never in the history of this race has anyone been so dominant. She is a natural hurdler and simply glides over each hurdle , making it look so easy as if she was jumping over a rain puddle. It is her graceful hurdling ability that makes her peerless

POS BIB ATHLETE COUNTRY MARK
1 1302 Beatrice CHEPKOECH KEN 8:57.84 CR
2 1959 Emma COBURN USA 9:02.35 PB
3 955 Gesa Felicitas KRAUSE GER 9:03.30 NR
4 377 Winfred Mutile YAVI BRN 9:05.68 PB
5 1808 Peruth CHEMUTAI UGA 9:11.08 SB
6 1968 Courtney FRERICHS USA 9:11.27
7 613 Anna Emilie MØLLER DEN 9:13.46 NR
8 1311 Hyvin KIYENG KEN 9:13.53
9 102 Luiza GEGA ALB 9:19.93 NR
10 196 Genevieve GREGSON AUS 9:23.84 SB
11 712 Mekides ABEBE ETH 9:25.66 PB
12 1663 Maruša MIŠMAŠ SLO 9:25.80
13 1492 Karoline Bjerkeli GRØVDAL NOR 9:29.41
14 434 Geneviève LALONDE CAN 9:32.92
1305 Celliphine Chepteek CHESPOL KEN DNF

 

Hellen Obiri: Women’s 5000m: Hellen Obiri had started the 2019 season on a solid note. But as the world championships approached, her form appeared to dip. In the 10,000m race, a few days earlier, she had finished in 5th position albeit with a personal best. However she did not disappoint in the 5000m, staving off a strong challenge from German Konstanze Klosterhafen who challenged Obiri for much of the last lap. Compatriot Margaret Chelimo then passed the German with 30 metres to go to take second for a Kenya 1-2

POS BIB ATHLETE COUNTRY MARK
1 1314 Hellen OBIRI KEN 14:26.72 CR
2 1308 Margaret Chelimo KIPKEMBOI KEN 14:27.49 PB
3 953 Konstanze KLOSTERHALFEN GER 14:28.43
4 722 Tsehay GEMECHU ETH 14:29.60 PB
5 1315 Lilian Kasait RENGERUK KEN 14:36.05 PB
6 731 Fantu WORKU ETH 14:40.47 PB
7 894 Laura WEIGHTMAN GBR 14:44.57 PB
8 721 Hawi FEYSA ETH 14:44.92
9 2002 Karissa SCHWEIZER USA 14:45.18 PB
10 880 Eilish MCCOLGAN GBR 14:46.17 PB
11 1996 Elinor PURRIER USA 14:58.17 PB
12 1507 Camille BUSCOMB NZL 14:58.59 PB
13 440 Andrea SECCAFIEN CAN 14:59.95 PB
14 1256 Nozomi TANAKA JPN 15:00.01 PB
15 1647 Dominique SCOTT RSA 15:24.47

 

Conseslus Kipruto: Mens 3000m Steeplechase: Kenya’s record in this event is the most impressive of any event in any sport. A Kenyan has won this event in every world championship and in every Olympic games since 1988.

However coming into this race, Kenya’s chances appeared bleak. Conseslus Kipruto, the defending world champion, had been struggling with injuries in 2019, including a broken foot. In fact he had not won a race in 2019. But Kipruto showed his mettle. He was locked in a battle with El Bakkali of Morocco and Girma of Ethiopia. The Moroccan made his move at the bell, surging ahead. But four runners caught up with him at the water jump.

With 70 metres to go, it appeared Girma was running away with the gold medal. But Kipruto summoned his last ounce of strength and with a last ditch effort, caught up with Girma at the finish line. It was a photo finish and both required a judge to determine whose torso crossed the finish line first. After tense moments, Kipruto was declared the winner. It was one of the most epic races in the history of the world championships.

POS ATHLETE COUNTRY MARK
1 Conseslus KIPRUTO KEN 8:01.35 WL
2 Lamecha GIRMA ETH 8:01.36 NR
3 Soufiane EL BAKKALI MAR 8:03.76 SB
4 Getnet WALE ETH 8:05.21 PB
5 Djilali BEDRANI FRA 8:05.23 PB
6 Benjamin KIGEN KEN 8:06.95
7 Abraham KIBIWOT KEN 8:08.52
8 Hillary BOR USA 8:09.33
9 Leonard Kipkemoi BETT KEN 8:10.64
10 Stanley Kipkoech KEBENEI USA 8:11.15 SB
11 Fernando CARRO ESP 8:12.31
12 Andrew BAYER USA 8:12.47 PB
13 Avinash SABLE IND 8:21.37 NR
14 Matthew HUGHES CAN 8:24.78
15 Zak SEDDON GBR 8:40.23
Chala BEYO ETH DNF

 

Timothy Cheruiyot: Mens 1500m:  Timothy Cheruiyot has been imperious in 2019. Nobody has come close to matching him. Compatriot Elijah Manangoi, the defending world champion, who has been his primary challenger for the last two years, pulled out of the championships. Cheruiyot was as dominant as usual, beating the field by a significant margin

 

POS BIB ATHLETE COUNTRY MARK
1 1273 Timothy CHERUIYOT KEN 3:29.26
2 106 Taoufik MAKHLOUFI ALG 3:31.38 SB
3 1532 Marcin LEWANDOWSKI POL 3:31.46 NR
4 1486 Jakob INGEBRIGTSEN NOR 3:31.70
5 852 Jake WIGHTMAN GBR 3:31.87 PB
6 843 Josh KERR GBR 3:32.52 PB
7 1292 Ronald KWEMOI KEN 3:32.72 SB
8 1872 Matthew CENTROWITZ USA 3:32.81 SB
9 1707 Kalle BERGLUND SWE 3:33.70 NR
10 1882 Craig ENGELS USA 3:34.24
11 829 Neil GOURLEY GBR 3:37.30
12 615 Youssouf HISS BACHIR DJI 3:37.96

 

Silver Medals

Faith Kipyegon: Women’s 1500m: Faith Kipyegon, coming back from a year-long maternity leave, finished second to Sifan Hassan who clocked an incredible time of 3:51:95, after having won the women’s 10,000m. A dark cloud hangs over her performance after her former coach Alberto Salazar was banned for four years for doping violations. Sifan’s drastic/dramatic improvement over the past year is considered suspect.

Margaret Chelimo Kipkemboi: Women’s 5000m: Chelimo earned the silver behind compatriot Hellen Obiri thanks to a late effort.

Bronze Medals

Ferguson Rotich: Men’s 800m: His first medal. This caps a career year in which he ran a personal best

Rhonex Kipruto: Men’s 10,000m: The 20 year old has a bright future in front of him

Amos Kipruto: Men’s marathon: A valiant effort resulting in his first ever medal

Agnes Jebet Tirop: Women’s 10,000m: Jebet ran a personal best time

Kenya Athletics

 

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Kenya at the 2017 World Athletics

Background

The 2017 IAAF World Championships were held from 4 to 13 August at London Stadium in London, UK. Kenya finished second in the medal table with 11 medals: 5 gold, 2 silver and 4 bronze.

1500m: Managoi and Cheruiyot go 1-2

Kenya fielded a very strong team in this event. A medal sweep seemed possible. At the bell, Kenyans occupied the top three positions with Timothy Cheruiyot setting the pace, followed by Elijah Manangoi and defending champion Asbel Kiprop. With 150 metres left, Kiprop faded. Manangoi made his last move with 50 metres left to win.

Race Video

3000m Steeplechase: : Conseslus Kipruto dispels doubts

For the first time in decades, the threat of  Kenya losing this event appeared real. American Evan Jaeger had beaten the top Kenyans in epic fashion in the Diamond League. Moroccan Souffiane el Bakkali had also recorded surprise wins over the top Kenyans. And Kenya for the first time, did not have the depth it typically has in this event.  The veteran Ezekiel Kemboi who had won this event three times, was now in his final chapter. Jacob Birech was inconsistent throughout the season.. This left only defending Olympic champion Conseslus Kipruto.

Jaeger set a torrid pace as he had done in the Diamond League meets that he had won. It seemed that he might run away with the race again. But Kipruto and El Bakkali stayed with him. Kipruto, with a sudden shift of gears, passed Jager with 250 metres to go. Bakkali caught up with Kipruto with 100 metres to go. But Kipruto had an extra gear that carried him to an easy win.

Men’s Marathon: Gold for Kirui

The 2015 edition of this event had been a disaster for Kenya. The country did not place a runner among the top 20 finishers despite its strong pedigree. The onus was therefore on the trio of Geoffrey Kirui, Gideon Kipketer and Daniel Wanjiru to restore Kenya’s place at the top. At around the 25Km mark, Kirui was neck and neck with Ethiopia’s Tamirat Tola. It was a slow pace and the runners were destined to finish in around 2:11.  It as then that Kirui made his surge for which Tola had no answer. He won in 2:08:27 having picked up the pace significantly in the second half of the race.

Race Video

 

Women’s 1500m: Kipyegon finally becomes world champion

Faith Kipyegon had shown significant potential since her teen years when she won gold at the World youth championships and the world junior cross country championships. By age 19 in 2013, she had set a kenyan record in the 1500m. But senior level accolades were difficult to come by. By 2017, she still had not won the world championships. And this race was not going to be easy. She would have to contend with Genzebe Dibaba , the defending champion and world indoor record holder, Caster Semenya, the dominant 800m runner, Jenniffer Simpson, the gold medalist from 2011, Sifan Hassan who was the European cross country champion and Laura Muir, the European Indoor champion. A very strong field indeed.

At the bell, it was Sifan Hassan and Kipyegon who were tied for the lead. Hassan was determined to hold off Kipyegon at the curve to force her to run a longer route. She did. But the tactic cost her dearly because she spent a lot of energy fending off Kipyegon and finally ran out of steam. Kipyegon took the lead with 50 metres to go. Simpson and Semenya also ran a storming last 50 metres to take silver and bronze.

Race Video

Women’s 5000m: Obiri shocks Ayana

Almaz Ayana was the clear favourite in this race. Just days earlier, she had won the 10,000m gold in convincing fashion. And in 2016, she had set the world record in the 10,000m and run the second fastest 5000m ever in 14:12.59. She typically won by setting a searing pace that would see her as much as 50 metres ahead of the field. So when she changed gears at the halfway mark, the familiar pattern appeared to be evolving. But Hellen Obiri was also in a confident mood because the 2017 season was her best yet. She had won 10 of 12 races that she participated in. After the halfway point, the race was reduced to a duel between Obiri and Ayana, with the former tracking Ayana’s movements very closely. With 300m to go, Obiri suddenly accelerated, leaving Ayana flat footed. Obiri went on to win in 14:34.86 , nearly 40 seconds ahead of Ayana.

Race Video

 

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2015 World Athletics championships: Kenya tops the table

Background

The 2015 IAAF World Championships was the fifteenth edition of the IAAF World Championships. They were held from 22 to 30 August at the National Stadium in Beijing, China. The 2015 edition marked the first time that Kenya finished at atop the medal standings with a total haul of 16 medals, 7 gold, 6 silver and 3 bronze.

Nicholas Bett wins 400m hurdles from lane 9 !

Nicholas Bett became the first Kenyan ever to win the 400m hurdles in a major global event. In fact Bett became the first Kenyan ever to win gold at a major global event. The last time a Kenyan sprinter won gold at a global event was Seraphino Antao who won gold in the 100m at the Commonwealth games half a decade a ago. However the Commonwealth games are not considered a major global event.

Bett did this by clocking 47.79 which is the fastest time in the world this year and a new Kenyan record. And he did all this while having the disadvantage of running from lane 9 which is the worst lane to run from in any one lap event due to the incredible stagger.

Despite running from lane 9, Bett held on and did not allow any racer to make up the stagger. Not even the pressure of having two time world champion Kerron Clement of the USA could shake Bett. Throughout the race, the commentators only spoke of Michael Tinsley who was the favourite while not realizing that Bett was leading throughout.

The time makes Bett the 4th fastest African ever behind Matete of Zambia, Dia Ba of Senegal and Van Zyl of South Africa.  Both the second and third placed finisher set new national records. Boniface Mucheru, the other Kenyan in the race was 5th. There mere fact that Kenya had two runners in the final is in itself a phenomenal achievement.

Race Video

Race Results

POS BIB ATHLETE COUNTRY MARK Reaction Time
1 679 Nicholas Bett  KEN 47.79 WL 0.162
2 870 Denis Kudryavtsev  RUS 48.05 NR 0.146
3 202 Jeffery Gibson  BAH 48.17 NR 0.184
4 1005 Kerron Clement  USA 48.18 SB 0.174
5 705 Boniface Mucheru Tumuti  KEN 48.33 0.164
6 956 Yasmani Copello  TUR 48.96 0.204
7 794 Patryk Dobek  POL 49.14 0.176
8 1063 Michael Tinsley  USA 50.02 0.134

Men’s 800m: Rudisha back on top

The 2013 800m contest had been a disaster for Kenya. Rudisha was missing due to injury. Ferguson Rotich, who was Kenya’s main hope, was disqualified in the semis. As a result, Kenya did not place any runner in the finals. In the 2015 edition however, Rudisha was back and Kenya placed three runners in the final.

Whereas in the past, Rudisha would lead from gun to tape, this time he ran a more tactical race, taking the leading from the gun and fending off any runner who tried to pass him. Adam Kszczot of Poland tried to upend Rudisha in the back straight but Rudisha anticipated his move and fended him off. Rudisha would extend his lead using his classic long stride, winning in a slowish time of 1:45.84. Ferguson Rotich narrowly missed out on a medal.

Race Video

1500m: Third succesive gold for Asbel Kiprop

Asbel Kiprop made it very difficult for himself but eventually came through to win the men’s 1500m on the penultimate day of the 2015 world athletics championships. Kiprop placed himself at the back of the pack for the first half of the race. At the start of the final lap, Kiprop was still boxed in at the very back. He only started to make his move with 250m to go. Algerian Tariq Makhloufi had what looked like a strong lead just as he did at the 2012 Olympics. But Kiprop utilized his long legs to close the gap and managed to pass both Maklhloufi and Moroccan Abdilaati Iguider with 50m to go. Newcomer Elijah Manangoi also had a strong finish coming from way back to finish second barely beating Iguider to complete a Kenya 1-2 finish. In 2011, this race also ended in a Kenya 1-2 finish with Kiprop and Silas Kiplagat winning gold and silver.

The win by Kiprop clinched Kenya’s place at the top of the medal table, marking the first time Kenya has accomplished this feat.

It was a fitting win for Kiprop who has dominated the 1500m in the Diamond League circuit winning using a variety of tactics from front running, to staying behind the back and also suddenly changing pace. Kiprop has proven that he is unbeatable at this event in 2015. In fact coming into the 2015 world championships, Kiprop was Kenya’s best bet for a medal.

Kiprop becomes the third runner to win this event three times following Nourredine Morceli of Algeria and Hicham El Guerrouj of Morocco. Kiprop is easily the most succesful 1500m runner in Kenya’s history and has the second fastest time by a Kenyan after Bernard Lagat.

Race Video

Julius Yego with a historic gold medal

Javelin thrower Julius Yego became the first Kenyan ever to win a gold medal in a non-running event at a global competition. He accomplished this by winning the gold medal in the Javelin at the 2014 commonwealth games with a best throw of 83.87m.The win must have been very satisfying for Yego who came within a whisker of winning a medal at the 2013 world athletics championships.

He has been steadily improving since he emerged on the scene four years ago. The 2010 Commonwealth Games provided his first javelin contest outside of Africa and there he finished seventh. He went on to finish 12th at the London 2012 Olympic Games and a year later finished fourth at the IAAF World Championships in Moscow with a national record of 85.40m.

What makes Yego’s accomplishment great is the sheer number of hurdles he had to overcome in order to reach this impressive milestone.

Lack of facilities, coaching and tradition

A javelin thrower in Kenya has no access to the kind of training facilities available in Europe. There are no coaches in Kenya who are qualified to coach world class Javelin throwers. This lack of coaches forced Yego to learn his craft by watching youtube videos, this earning himself the nickname “Youtube-Man”.

Beating the Olympic Champion

Winning the gold medal at the Commonwealth games was never going to be easy given the presence of Keshorn Walcott of Trinidad who is the reigning Olympic champion. But Yego faced down the opposition and emerged victorious.

Overcoming Injury

Yego had hurt himself during the warmup and seriously considered quitting the competition.

“It was emotional,” he said on claiming victory, “as I picked up a groin injury during the warm-up.

“I slipped on the warm-up track. I thought about pulling out, but I spoke to my coach and I decided I couldn’t pull out of this championship.”

Not only did Yego defy injury but also horrendous conditions as the competition was held in the pouring rain.

“The conditions were not favourable, but there was no head wind so that was OK,” he said.

Video

Hyvin Kiyeng upsets formbook to win in epic finish

Coming into the 2015 world championships, Tunisian Habiba Ghribi was the favourite. She had the world best time and had won the silver medal at the 2011 world championships and the 2012 Olympics. Hyvin Kiyeng on the other hand did not have a major championship medal to her name. Her only honours so far had come at the All Africa games and the African championships. Still Kiyeng had one Diamond league win to her name in 2015 and had the second best time of the season.

It was an epic race in the final lap with numerous runners exchanging the lead. Virginia Nyambura stayed with the leading pack until 250 metres to go when she started to fade. In the final straight, three runners, Kiyeng, Ghribi and Gesa Krause of Germany were all literally neck and neck in a straight line. But Kiyeng had an extra gear which she utilized after the final hurdle to pass Ghribi and win by a hair.

Kiyeng had dimished 6th in the 2013 world championships in Moscow. Coming into the 2015 season, no one expected much from Kenyans in this event. Milcah Chemos who had been Kenya’s stalwart at this event was fading due to injuries. In 2014, no Kenyans were among the top runners. The 2014 season had been dominated by the Ethiopian duo of Sofia Assefa and Hiwot Ayalew as well as the American Emma Coburn. However in 2015, Virginia Nyambura and Hyvib Kiyeng emerged as true contenders.

Race Video

Vivian Cheruiyot makes a grand comeback

Vivian Cheruiyot was back with a bang. After winning both the 5000m and 10,000m at the 2011 world championships, she experienced a mini-slump before taking time off on maternity leave. In 2015 she showed signs of a comeback when she won the 10,000m at the Bruxelles diamond league and at the Kenyan trials.

Much was expected from her and she did not disappoint, beating a strong challenge from Gelete Burka of Ethiopia to win in 31.41.31. The leading pack stayed together for 9600m. Cheruiyot took the lead with 250m to go and held off strong challenges from Burka who tried several times to pass her. It was her fourth world championship gold medal having also won gold at the 5000m in 2009.

Race Video

Race Results

POS BIB ATHLETE COUNTRY MARK
1 560 Vivian Jepkemoi Cheruiyot  KEN 31:41.31
2 338 Gelete Burka  ETH 31:41.77
3 891 Emily Infeld  USA 31:43.49
4 890 Molly Huddle  USA 31:43.58
5 566 Sally Jepkosgei Kipyego  KEN 31:44.42 SB
6 880 Shalane Flanagan  USA 31:46.23
7 348 Alemitu Heroye  ETH 31:49.73
8 573 Betsy Saina  KEN 31:51.35 SB
9 349 Belaynesh Oljira  ETH 31:53.01
10 618 Susan Kuijken  NED 31:54.32
11 626 Jip Vastenburg  NED 32:03.03
12 689 Sara Moreira  POR 32:06.14

Medal Table

Nation Gold Silver Bronze Total
1  Kenya (KEN) 7 6 3 16
2  Jamaica (JAM) 7 2 3 12
3  United States (USA) 6 6 6 18
4  Great Britain & N.I. (GBR) 4 1 2 7
5  Ethiopia (ETH) 3 3 2 8
6  Poland (POL) 3 1 4 8
7  Canada (CAN) 2 3 3 8
 Germany (GER) 2 3 3 8
9  Russia (RUS) 2 1 1 4
10  Cuba (CUB) 2 1 0 3
11  China (CHN)* 1 7 1 9
12  Netherlands (NED) 1 1 1 3
13  South Africa (RSA) 1 0 2 3
14  Belarus (BLR) 1 0 1 2
15  Colombia (COL) 1 0 0 1
 Czech Republic (CZE) 1 0 0 1
 Eritrea (ERI) 1 0 0 1
 Slovakia (SVK) 1 0 0 1
 Spain (ESP) 1 0 0 1
20  Australia (AUS) 0 2 0 2
 Croatia (CRO) 0 2 0 2
22  Bahamas (BAH) 0 1 1 2
 Trinidad and Tobago (TTO) 0 1 1 2
 Ukraine (UKR) 0 1 1 2
25  Belgium (BEL) 0 1 0 1
 Brazil (BRA) 0 1 0 1
 Egypt (EGY) 0 1 0 1
 Israel (ISR) 0 1 0 1
 Tajikistan (TJK) 0 1 0 1
 Tunisia (TUN) 0 1 0 1
31  France (FRA) 0 0 2 2
32  Bahrain (BHR) 0 0 1 1
 Bosnia and Herzegovina (BIH) 0 0 1 1
 Finland (FIN) 0 0 1 1
 Greece (GRE) 0 0 1 1
 Grenada (GRN) 0 0 1 1
 Japan (JPN) 0 0 1 1
 Kazakhstan (KAZ) 0 0 1 1
 Latvia (LAT) 0 0 1 1
 Morocco (MAR) 0 0 1 1
 Portugal (POR) 0 0 1 1
 Serbia (SRB) 0 0 1 1
 Uganda (UGA) 0 0 1 1
Totals (43 nations) 47 48 49 144

 

Kenya Athletics

 

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Smiling Rhonex Kipruto smashes 10K world record with no pacers and no vapourfly

Kenya’s Rhonex Kipruto obliterated the world record 10k road race record at the Valencia Ibercaja on Sunday January 12 2020. The race was a World Athletics Gold Label road race.

His time of  clocking 26:24 was a good 14 seconds faster than the previous record of 26:38 which was set by Ugandan Joshua Cheptegei also in Valencia 5 weeks ago. Prior to that, the record was held by Leonard Patrick Komon of Kenya who clocked 26:44 in 2010.

The impressive time set by Kipruto is 3 seconds faster than the Kenya track 10,000m record that is held by Paul Tergat. It is only 7 seconds slower than the world track 10,000m record that is held by Kenenisa Bekele. These statistics are impressive because running on a road is typically more difficult than running on a track.

Secondly, Kipruto ran most of the race alone. The pacemakers had all dropped out by the 4Km mark and the rest of the field could not match Kipruto’s pace. So he ran the last 6km on his own, often smiling at the crowd.

Thirdly Kipruto set the record without the sensational Nike Vapourfly shoes which experts say have been key in most recent record breaking feats including Brigid Kosgei’s new women’s world marathon record., Bekele’s new marathon personal best that was only two seconds slower than the world record and of course Eliud Kipchoge’s 1:59 feat.

“I’m over the moon,” said an elated Kipruto. When I clocked 26:46 in Prague in 2018, I set myself the target of breaking the world 10km record and today my dream came true. I’m very thankful to the organisers for relying on me to set the record and to the city and the people of Valencia for treating me so well and for their support throughout the race.”

Kipruto is coached by legendary Iten based coach Colm O’Connell.

How does this bode for the Olympics?

At the 2019 World athletics championships, Kipruto took bronze. The race was won by Ugandan Joshua Cheptegei who is a good tactician. Kipruto likely will not beat Cheptegei in a slower tactical race. So he needs to restrategize on how he will cope with the heat of Tokyo will setting a faster pace.

Sheila Chepkirui runs second fastest women’s 10K

The women’s 10K race was contest between three Kenyan women: Rosemary Wanjiru, Norah Jeruto and Sheila Chepkirui. At the halfway point, the leading pack had four women including Kenyan turned Israeli, Lornah Salpeter. But the latter fell off the pace, leaving the three Kenyans. Chepkirui outlasted her compatriots to win in 29:46, the second fastest time ever. The world record is held by Joyceline Jekpkogei of Kenya at 26:43.

Leading results

Men
1 Rhonex Kipruto (KEN) 26:24
2 Benard Kimeli (KEN) 27:12
3 Julien Wanders (SUI) 27:13
4 Jacob Kirop (KEN) 27:30
5 Shadrack Koech (KEN) 27:32
6 Stephen Kissa (UGA) 27:47
7 Djilali Bedrani (FRA) 27:50
8 Alex Korio (KEN) 27:53
9 Chala Regasa Ketema (ETH) 28:00
10 Sikiyas Misganaw (ETH) 28:01

Women
1 Sheila Chepkirui (KEN) 29:46
2 Rosemary Wanjiru (KEN) 29:51
3 Norah Jeruto (KEN) 29:51
4 Bosena Mulate (ETH) 30:50
5 Lonah Chemtai Salpeter (ISR) 31:09
6 Rediet Daniel (ETH) 31:55
7 Rachael Zena Chebet (UGA) 32:00
8 Karolina Nadolska (POL) 32:08
9 Jenny Nesbitt (GBR) 32:42
10 Mercy Chemutai Koech (KEN) 32:46

 

Kenya Athletics

 

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Kenya at the 2013 World championships: Surprise wins for Eunice Sum and Milcah Chemos

Background

The 14th IAAF World Championships in Athletics was held in Moscow, Russia, from August 10 to August 18 2013.  Kenya finished third overall in the standings with 12 medals: 5 gold, 4 silver and 3 bronze. The highlights included both Eunice Sum and Milcah Chemos fullfilling their potential by winning gold. Edna Kiplagat, Asbel Kiprop and Ezekiel Kemboi retaining their titles.

800m: Eunice Sum upsets Savinova

Coming into this race, Mariya Savinova or Russia was the overwhelming favourite. Not only was she running infront of her home crowd, but she was also the defending world champion and defending Olympic champion. Eunice Sum for her part had never won any international event. Her best performance thus far was a silver medal at the African Championships in 2012.

In the final, Sum ran a tactically astute race. Alysah Montano set a torrid pace in the first lap. Sum followed within striking distance. Savinova, who was then known as the chess player for her tactical prowess was further behind and started to make her move with 250m to go. As she started to surge past the field, a win seemed inevitable. But Sum held her off at the curve thus forcing her to take a longer route. With 100m to go, Sum and Savinova were even and had caught up with Montano. With 50 metres left, Sum shifted to a higher gear and Savinova had no answer. Sum had won her first ever international gold medal with a personal best of 1:57.38.

Savinova would eventually lose her silver medal after it was proven that she had been doping all long.

Race Video

Women’s 3000m Steeplechase: Finally gold for Chemos, silver for Chepkurui

26 year old Milcah Chemos had only been a participant in athletics for four years. She only took up competitive running at the urging of her husband who was also an athlete. Prior to this event, she had won bronze medals at the 2009 and 2011 events. Both those events had been won by Russian women thus it was expected that a Russian woman would win again.

But as the race progressed, it became apparent that the Kenyans and Ethiopians would dominate this race. With a lap to go, the Kenyan duo of Chemos and Lydia Chepkurui were leading the field. The gap between them increased as the last lap progressed. With 200m to go, Chemos surged. Chepkurui gave chase. Chemos navigated the last two barriers then finished with a powerful kick to win comfortably. Chepkurui had to hold off Sofia Assefa for silver.

Race Video

Women’s marathon: Edna Kiplagat retains title

Edna Kiplagat had led a Kenyan sweep of the medals in 2011. The only athletes who challenged her were fellow Kenyans.  However in 2013 things were different. At the 30km mark, the leading pack consisted of Kiplagat, Valeria Straneo of Italy, Meselech Melkamu of Ethiopia and Kayoko Fukushi of Japan. Melkamu soon found the pace too hot and dropped out. Straneo was leading with 1km to go before Kiplagat made her move and Straneo had no answer. Kiplagat won in 2:25:44 to retain her title.

Race Video

Men’s 1500m: Asbel Kiprop retains his title

All three Kenyans made it to the final: Asbel Kiprop, Silas Kiplagat and Nixon Chepseba. Kiprop and Kiplagat had gone 1-2 in 2011 while Chepseba was in brilliant form, having won his first ever Diamond League race earlier. In the final, Chepseba set the early pace and held the lead until about 200m to go when the rest of the field closed him down. Kiprop surged ahead of the field, leaving the rest to compete for the rest of the medals. Chepseba finished fourth, just outside the medals while Kiplagat ran out of gas when he made his surge in the last 100m

Race Video

3000m Steeplechase: Third succesive gold for Kemboi

Kenya had four runners in the final: Ezekiel Kemboi, Abel Mutai, Paul Kipsiele Koech and 19 year old newcomer Conseslus Kipruto. The final was remarkable for the rivalry between Kemboi and Kipruto who threatened to end Kemboi’s dominance of this race.

In the final lap, Kipruto held the lead with 250m to go. Then Kemboi made one of his tradeamark accelerations that left the rest of the field stunned. Nobody had any answer for Kemboi’s surge. Kipruto tried to chase in the last 100m but despite closing the gap, he could not catch Kemboi who won gold with Kipruto taking silver. Koech finished fourth.

Race Video


Chepseba’s torrid pace in the semis was too hot for the rest of the field

 

Kenya Athletics
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2011 World Athletics Championships: Utter Domination by Kenya

Background

The 2011 World Athletics Championships was held in Daegu, South Koreafrom 27 August 2011 ending on 4 September 2011. Kenya recorded its best ever performance up to that point, hauling 7 gold, 8 silver and 3 bronze for a total of 18 medals. They finished second in the medal table behind the USA. Kenya was particularly dominant in the women’s distance events, sweeping all the medals in the 10,000m and the marathon and taking the top two spots in the 5000m.

Men’s 800m: David Rudisha’s First senior gold medal

David Rudisha had a brilliant junior career, winning the World Junior Championships in 2006. But as his senior career started, it seemed he would be one of many athletes who shone brilliantly in the juniors but struggled to find success in the seniors. During the 2009 world championships for example, a tactical error in the semi-finals saw him fail to make the finals.

But by 2010, it became apparent that Rudisha was going to fulfill the promise of his youth career. In 2011, he set a new world record. Thus coming into these championships, he was the firm favourite. He did not disappoint as his long strides left the competition in his wake, allowing him to win fairly comfortably in 1:43.91.

Race Video

Men’s 1500m: Kiprop and Kiplagat go 1-2

In the previous championships, Kenya had a sub-par  performance in the men’s 1500m despite having the three athletes with the fastest times in 2009: Asbel Kiprop, Augustin Choge and Haron Keitany. Kiprop, the Olynmpic champion, finished 4th. Choge was and 5th and Keitany suffered an injury in the semis.

In 2011, Kenya was determined to make amends as they fielded yet another strong trio: Kiprop, Silas Kiplagat and Daniel Kipchirichir Komen.  They did not dissapoint. In the final, Kiprop and Kiplagat both ran a tactically astute race to take gold and silver.

Race Video

3000M Steeplechase: Kemboi defends title. Kipruto second

Ezekiel Kemboi had won this event in 2009 after three unsuccessful tries. One of the runners who had beaten him to gold on occassion was compatriot Brimin Kipruto. Kemboi thus took no chances, accelerating at the back straight which is where he usually makes his move. Kipruto gave chase but when he realized he would not catch Kemboi, he slowed down significantly and was almost passed by French runner Bennabad.

Race Video

Men’s Marathon: Kirui and Kipruto go 1-2

Abel Kirui gave what was described as the most dominant performance in the history of championship marathon running. Kirui finished about half a mile ahead of the rest of the field to win the title for the second time in a row. Running in extreme heat and with a humidity of 65%, Kirui produced a burst in the last quarter of the race that the rest of the field was unable to match. He finished in 2:07:38 . Compatriot Vincent Kipruto was second in 2:10:06

Race Video

Women’s 5000m: Cheruiyot and Kibet go 1-2

Vivian Cheruiyot was the most dominant distance runner of the 2011 season. She thus came into this race as the overwhelming favourite. She did not disappoint. She ran a tactically brilliant race, gradually increasing the pace from the 4.4 km mark. At the bell started to pull away from the leading group. Ethiopian legend Meseret Defar gave chase

It was an exact repeat of the 2009 edition. For the second successive time, Vivian Cheruiyot and Sylvia Kibet occupied the top two positions, relegating Defar to third place. And as was the case two years earlier, Defar was broken by Cheruiyots surge to the point that she forfeited second place to Kibet at the finish line again.

Race Video

Womens 10,000m: Kenya goes 1-2-3-4

It was thorough and complete dominance by Kenya in the women’s 10,000m as the top four finishers were all Kenyans. It marked only the third time that a country had occupied the top four positions in any event. Vivian Cheruiyot set the pace over the final two laps as is typical of her. At the bell, the four Kenyans seperated from the rest of the pack with only Meselech Melkamu of Ethiopia, the previous silver medalist  staying in tow. When Cheruiyot broke away, Sally Kipyego gave chase but was soon unable to keep up. Melkamu then positioned herself for third pace but could not fend off the other two Kenyans.In the end, Cheruiyot won comfortably folloed by Sally Kipyego, Linet Masai and Prisca Cherono.

Race Video

Women’s marathon: Kenya goes 1-2-3

It was complete domination for Kenya in the women’s marathon. Kenya swept all three medals with Edna Kiplagat, Priscah Jeptoo and Sharon Cherop taking gold, silver and bronze respectively. This despite a collision at a watering station between Kiplagat and Cherop that knocked Kiplagat down. Cherop waited for Kiplagat to rise before continuing. The Kenyan trio pulled away with 5km to go. Only Bezunesh Bekele of Ethiopia stayed in touch. But she was soon broken by the Kenyan trio.

This was the first time that a country had won all the medals in a marathon at either the Olympics or the World championships and as of 2019, still the only time.

Race Video

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Kenya Rugby Review for 2019

Sevens players go on strike

The 2018-2019 season will be remembered as the  year when 15 Kenya sevens rugby players boycotted the national team due to disagreements over pay. A furious KRFU chairman Richard Omwela warned the players that they would never be allowed to don the national jersey again.

“We shall not allow a group of players to manipulate the Union. They shall play on our terms and not theirs,”

The player boycott was occasioned by the Union’s decision to slash player salaries especially after a number pf sponsors pulled out. Player salaries went from around Ksh 170,000 per month to around Ksh 100,000.

“What message will we be sending to nation or the players, who have agreed to play on meagre pay…Are they playing for money or the nation? it’s unacceptable for them to continue dictating to us when they know the situation.


KRFU Chairman Richard Omwela was at the centre for the firestorm

Problems started in 2018 at the Paris sevens when players covered the sponsor name to protest non-payment of salaries. It turned out that the sponsor had actually given KRFU the money but KRFU did not remit salaries to the players.

Under the agreement, tourism CS Balala says the KRU was to pocket Sh17.6 Million with Sh2.4 million going directly to the players with each player getting Sh100,000.

“It does not therefore make sense to me that KRU could not even use part of the Sh4 million we had advanced them to pay the players part of their share, while they await more funding from us”, a visibly angry Balala, who also blamed the players for being unpatriotic said.

With issues unresolved, Andrew Amonde, William “Lomu” Ambaka, Samuel Oliech, Nelson Oyoo and Collins Injera opted out at the beginning of the season. Billy Odhiambo, Oscar Ouma and Oscar Ayodi trained with the team then left. Meanwhile Eden Agero, Dennis Ombachi and Jeff Oluoch played in the Dubai and Cape Town legs before leaving the team.

Kenya finishes 13th in the World Sevens series

The net result of the player boycott was that Kenya fielded a vastly inexperienced squad. Added to this fact was that the coach Paul “Pau” Murunga, a former Kenya sevens star, was also in his first season as head coach. Their inexperience showed as Kenya lost all their matches in the Dubai, Sydney and Vancouver legs and were staring at relegation.

Matters came to a head in the London leg when Kenya lost to fellow relegation candidates Japan in the 13th place playoff. A good performance was therefore required in the last leg (Paris) to stave off relegation. By this time, a number of the key players had returned to the team. Kenya finally produced their best performance of the season. Here they finished second in their group and 7th overall with 10 points, a result that helped Shujaa stave off relegation. The Paris leg marked the only leg in which Kenya qualified for the main cup quarter-finals.


Oscar Dennis Hawke scored his first ever try for Kenya in a 19-14 win over Wales in Singapore

There was very little to celebrate in the 2018-2019 season. Unlike past seasons where some Kenya players were among the leading scorers, leading impact players and best players, no such thing happened. The only Kenyan who won any sort of award was Jeff Oluoch who was voted the most impactful player of the Hong Kong leg in which he scored 59 points.

Kenya qualify for the World Rugby Under 20 Trophy


Coach Paul Odera could not hide his joy at qualifying

The Kenya U-20 team, popularly known as Chipu, qualified for the World Rugby Under 20 Trophy , which is the second tier U-20 global tournament. It had been 10 years since Kenya qualified for this event.

The qualifiers were held at KCB Sports club. Kenya qualified by beating Namibia 21-18 in an epic match in which the lead changed hands five times. What made this a momentous occassion was the fact that Namibia had eliminated Kenya on the previous four occasions. Kenya has suffered final losses to Namibia, falling in 2013 (51-8), 2014 (52-17), 2017 (66-24) and 2018 (37-18).  On their way to the final, Kenya destroyed Tunisia in the semi-finals by a score of 73-0

Kenya at the World Rugby Under 20 Trophy

Kenya were placed in tough Pool A with Japan, Uruguay and hosts Brazil. The opening match was a baptism of fire as Kenya went down 11-63 to Uruguay. Kenya then recovered to beat hosts Brazil 26-24. It was a see-saw battle that saw the lead change hands four times. Kenya then lost the last group match to eventual winners Japan 48-34. Against Japan, Kenya were trailing 19-3 at halftime. But a gallant second half display saw them cut the deficit to 31-29 at one point. This showed Kenya’s potential.  In the 5th place playoff, Kenya lost 52-13 to Canada.


Flyhalf Dominic Coulson in action against Japan

Coach Paul Odera was positive on Kenya’s performance and also highlighted the areas that need work.

“I would say we performed beyond expectations. To finish sixth in our first time here in over 10 years is an excellent achievement. There’s a lot to do to perform better next year,” assessed Odera.

“Better preparation, playing teams ranked higher than us and training camps are crucial if we are to go far,” he said before adding, “Our scrum and line-out need work. We also need to reduce our errors as we were punished for every mistake.”

A successful year for Lioness

In April, Kenya Lioness reached the semi-finals of the Women Sevens Series Qualifiers . They won their opening four matches, beating Uganda 24-0, Hong Kong 36-5, Papua New Guinea 20-10, before recording a memorable win over Argentina by a score of 17-15. Their run came to an end when they lost 17-15 to Brazil in the semi-finals.

In August, The Kenya women’s 15-a-side team played in the qualifiers for the 2021 women’s rugby world cup. Four teams participated with the others being hosts South Africa, Uganda and Madagascar. Kenya beat Uganda 37-5 and beat Madagascar 37-5

In the final Kenya lost 39-0 to South Africa. The South Africans had beaten Uganda and Madagascar by scores of 73-0 and 89-5 respectively.

Kenya’s hopes are not over after the 39-0 defeat, the Lionesses finished as runners-up and will contest a play-off against the winner of South American qualifier with the victor heading to the global repechage that will determine the final qualifier.

Kenya women’s rugby team soared to its highest ever world rugby rankings. By improving their score to 46.71 points, Kenya moved above Jamaica, Denmark and Fiji and into the top 25 ranked nations for the first time.

In the Elgon cup, Kenya Lioness once again underlined their dominance over Uganda, winning the first leg 44-13 at Mamboleo grounds in Kisumu. They then won the second leg 35-5 at Kyadondo grounds in Kampala.

In the Safari sevens, Uganda once again had no answer for Kenya who won the tournament with a 47-0 win over Uganda.


Kenya Lioness qualified for the Olympics

In October, Lioness played in the qualifiers for the 2020 Olympics that were held in Tunisia. Kenya beat Ghana 36-0, thrashed Botswana 49-0 and Senegal 36-0 in the pool fixtures. In the quarterfinals, the Lionesses edged Zimbabwe 36-5 and then defeated hosts Tunisia 19-0 in the semis. In the final, Kenya lost 15-14 to South Africa.  Kenya however qualified for the Olympics by virtue of the fact that the South Africa Olympic committee withdrew their team due to their low global ranking.

KCB Retain Kenya Cup

Kenya Commercial Bank RFC retained the Kenya cup with a 23-15 win over Kabras Sugar in the final. KCB did not lose any matches in 2019. Their last loss was in November against Nondies. It was Blak Blad who came closest to beating KCB, losing 20-15 in January. KCB also provided the highest number of players to the national team. As many as 8 KCB players featured for the national team in 2019 including prolific scorer Darwin Mukidza, Oliver Mangeni, Andrew Amonde and others.

Kisumu and Western Bulls prevailed in Kenya Rugby Union (KRU) Championships to get promoted to Kenya Cup for the 2019/2020 season.

Change at KRFU

Geoffrey Oduor Gangla was elected the new chairman after beating former vice chairman Sasha Mutai. Gangla replaced Richard Omwela who had been serving for his second term. The first Omwela era was an era where sponsorship money was scarce and Kenya routinely lost to Uganda in both men and women’s competitions. The second Omwela era was notable for a strike by senior players that led to Kenya’s worst performance in several years of the World sevens series. Can Gangla restore Kenya? He seems to be on the right track now.

No sooner had Gangla taken helm than Auctioneers descended on KRFU offices at RFUEA grounds to reposess property over a Ksh 4m debt that KRFU owed.

“It is an old debt. The incident is unfortunate but there is nothing we could do. We at times access some of these facilities on credit and when the government does not pay on time, we encounter such incidents,” said Gangla.

Shujaa back on track

After being in the dodrums for two seasons, the Kenya national sevens team aka Shujaa, started to regain some of its lusture, First the appointment of New Zealander Paul Feeney brought a level of credibility, technical expertise and experience that is needed to compete at the highest levels. Local coaches are often unable to maneouvre the intrigues and politics that come with working for KRFU.

Secondly the return of over a dozen senior players who had given Shujaa a wide berth in the 2018-2019 season brought back much needed experience and ability.  Senior players like Willy Ambaka and Nelson Oyoo melded well with emerging players like Daniel Taabu and Johnstone Olindi.


Kenya easily qualified for the 2020 Olympics

Shujaa announced their intentions with a ruthless demolition of all the competition at the 2020 Olympic qualifiers, beating Cote’d Ivoire 36-7, Senegal 50-0, Namibia 33-0 and Uganda 24-7. A starke contrast to the 2016 Olympics when Kenya almost did not qualify but for a memorable last gasp try by Dennis Ombachi.

This was followed by a much improved performance in the opening legs of the 2019-2020 World rugby sevens series. A number of new players emerged such as Daniel Taabu, Daniel Olindi and Alvin Otieno aka Buffa, showing that the future of Shujaa is in good hands. Kenya reached the quarter-finals of Cape Town leg, recording memorable wins over Australia and Samoa in contrast to the previous edition where Kenya lost all their group games including a 38-7 drubbing by Fiji and a loss in the 13th place playoff to Wales.

All things considered, Kenya looks set to have another goood season in 2020 for both men and women’s rugby.

 

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Kenya at the 2019 Cape Town Sevens

Group stage

Kenya 24 Samoa 19
Tries: D Sikuta, AO Otieno, D Taabu, LB Odhiambo
Conversions: Taabu(2)

Kenya 12 Australia 7
Tries: V Onyala, AO Otieno
Conversions: Taabu

Kenya 24 Ireland 24
Tries: ANO Amonde, V Onyala, J Olindi, AO Otieno 11′
Conversions: Taabu(2)

Quarter-Final

Kenya 5 South Africa 17
Tries: AO Otieno,
Conversions:

Photos


Alvin Otieno “Buffa” scores against South Africa


Players huddle before taking on Australia


Dan Sikuta (right) scored a crucial try against Australia


Kenya celebrates a crucial win over Australia


Johnstone Olindi on his way to score against Ireland

 

Squad

Andrew AMONDE
Age36 D.O.B25 December 1983 Height1.89m Weight100kg

Willy AMBAKA
Age29 D.O.B14 May 1990 Height1.93m Weight95kg

Billy ODHIAMBO
Age26 D.O.B07 November 1993 Height1.87m Weight91kg

Jacob OJEE
Age28 D.O.B07 March 1991 Height1.8m Weight81kg

Bush MWALE
Age26 D.O.B14 November 1993 Height1.87m Weight91kg

Alvin OTIENO
Age25 D.O.B19 April 1994 Height1.83m Weight94kg

Nelson OYOO
Age25 D.O.B26 June 1994 Height1.8m Weight82kg

Herman HUMWA
Age24 D.O.B08 November 1995 Height1.82m Weight102kg

Jeff OLUOCH
Age24 D.O.B02 April 1995 Height1.77m Weight96kg

Johnstone OLINDI
Age20 D.O.B04 November 1999 Height1.77m Weight68kg

Vincent ONYALA
Age23 D.O.B10 December 1996 Height1.75m Weight89kg

Daniel SIKUTA
Age27 D.O.B28 December 1992 Height1.85m Weight102kg

Daniel TAABU
Age23 D.O.B19 January 1996 Height1.74m Weight70kg

 

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Kenya Football in 2019

The 2019 Africa Cup of Nations preparations

Kenya made an appearance at the Africa Nations cup after a 15 year hiatus. The tournament was held in Egypt. Kenya was placed in what turned out to be the most difficult group. The other teams in the group were Senegal, Algeria and Tanzania. Senegal and Algeria would meet in the final and were clearly the top two teams in the tournament.

Prior to the tournament, Kenya embarked on an expensive training camp in France. The camp was fiercely criticized by Kenyan pundits.  One of the complaints was that the weather in France would not prepare Harambee stars for the heat and humidity of Egypt. But coach Sebastian Migne was unmoved

“And the weather was very important to me. During this preparation, we will have many sessions, sometimes three times a day and you can’t do that in a hot country,” he added.

During the camp, Kenya played friendly matches against Madagascar and DR Congo. Kenya beat Madagascar 1-0 with Victor Wanyama scoring from the penalty spot. A week later, Kenya drew 1-1 with DR Congo with Olunga giving Kenya a 27th minute lead that was canceled with three minutes left.


Kahata, Eric Johana and Wanyama in action against DR Congo

The matches however did not prepare Kenya adequately for the intensity of playing against Algeria and Senegal, Africa’s two best teams. In fact Kenya had turned down opportunities to play against Tunisia and Egypt. The heat and humidity of North Africa plus the hostile crowds would have given Kenya better preparation.

Corruption during the France Camp

It would later turn out that FKF paid OneGoal Pro agency Sh106 million to prepare the Harambee Stars camp in France. OneGoalPro is owned by one Joe Kamga, who doubles up as then Stars coach Sebastien Migne’s agent. This was clearly a conflict of interest.

Numerous Joyriders traveled with the team to Cairo, each being paid hefty daily allaowances. Chairman Nick Mwendwa and his deputy Doris Petra paid themselves Ksh 50,000 and 45,000 daily. Eight members of the executive committee were given Ksh 40,000 in Daily allowances. As reported by the Nation, these were Michael Ouma, Mwendwa’s personal assistant (PA) Sylvia Mumbua, Muthomi’s PA Juliet Nyambura, Frank Ogolla, ,Christine Ojode, Chris Amimo, Joseph Andere, Muriithi Nabea and Tony Kweya.


Sports cabinet secretary Amina Mohamed addressing the national team in France

The Nation report further indicated that among other things, FKF claimed to have spent Ksh 63 million for a friendly against Togo that never took place. In the end, PS Kirimi Kaberia stated that FKF was unable to account for the Ksh 244 million that was given to them.

The 2019 Africa Cup of Nations

Kenya had a nervous start against Algeria. The players were clearly jittery in the first half, perhaps the big stage overawed them. In the first half, Harambee Stars could hardly string together more than two passes and were committing unnecessary fouls. Algeria took advantage by running directly at the Kenyan defence and tumbling at the slightest touch. It came as no surprise when Algeria were finally awarded a penalty which  Riyad Mahrez converted.  Mahrez would then score the second goal as he was left wide open.

In the second half, Harambee Stars coach introduced Eric Ouma “Marcelo”, a move which shored up the left flank which had been leaking significantly. He also introduced Johana Omollo. This stabilized the Stars midfield and with Omollo’s poise and ability to maintain possession, Kenya’s performance in the second half improved significantly. They were however unable to find the net and the match ended 2-0 in Algeria’s favour.

In the second match, Kenya played neighbours Tanzania in a match that was for East African bragging rights. Twice Tanzania took the lead because dangerman Mbwana Samatta was left wide open. For the first goal, his shot was parried by goalkeeper Patrick Matasi but the ball fell to Simon Msuva who finished with an easy tap in. Samatta would yet again escape the Kenya defence on the right flank to score Tanzania’s second goal.


Olunga scored with a scissors kick

Kenya fought back each time with Olunga equalizing the first goal with an overhead scissors kick in the first half. In the second half, Johanna Omollo scored Kenya’s second goal with a glancing header of Ayub Timbe’s cross. Olunga would then score the winner after a superb run by Eric Johana. Kenya won the thrilling match 3-2 and with it, East African bragging rights.

In the last match, Kenya played Senegal. Kenya looked good in the first half with solid defending that saw them hold off the Senegalese. At halftime the score was 0-0. Early in the second half, Dennis Odhiambo almost scored but his powerful shot was saved by the Senegalese keeper. It was downhill from that point on as Kenya conceded 3 goals, two of which were scored by Liverpool striker Sadio Mane. The match ended 3-0 in favour of the Senegalese.

Gor Mahia in the 2018-2019 CAF Confederations cup

Gor Mahia under coach Hassan Oktay  became the first Kenyan side to qualify for the group stage of any continental competition. They did this by beating New Star de Douala of Cameroun in the CAF Confederations cup playoff round, winning 2-1 at home and drawing 0-0 away.

In the group stage, Gor Mahia finished second in group B with 9 points. A 4-2 win over Egyptian giants Zamalek as well as wins of NA Hussein Dey and Petro De Luanda saw them through. In the quarter-finals, things fell apart as they lost to RS Berkane 7-1 on aggregate.

2019 CECAFA Senior Challenge Cup

The 2019 edition of the CECAFA senior challenge cup was held in Uganda. Harambee stars emerged from group B with a 100% record, beating Tanzania 1-0, Zanzibar 1-0 and Sudan 2-1. But things fell apart in the semi-finals as Kenya were beaten 4-1 by Eritrea in what was one of the most embarrassing defeats in the history of Kenya football. Kenya then recovered to beat Tanzania 2-1 for 3rd place.

2019 Sportpesa Supercup

One of the most memorable tournaments of 2019 was the Sportpesa Supercup which pitted four Kenyan teams : Gor Mahia, AFC Leopards, Bandari and Kariobangi Sharks, against four Tanzanian teams: Simba, Young Africans, Singida United and Mbao FC.

The biggest shock came when Mbao FC eliminated Gor Mahia on penalties in the opening round after the match had ended 1-1 in regulation. AFC Leopards were also eliminated in the opening round, losing 2-1 to Simba FC. Another opening round shock came when Kariobangi Sharks beat Yanga 2-1. Bandari went on to upset formbook, beating Simba 2-1 in the semi-finals with William Wadri and Wycliff Ochomo canceling Meddie Kagere’s opener. It was an all Kenyan final that ended with Sharks beating Bandari 1-0.

Sportpesa withdraws from Sponsorship

In August of 2019, the betting company Sportpesa pulled out of all Sponsorships in sports. It was a huge blow for local football as at the time, they were sponsoring the national team, the Kenya Premier League and a number of local clubs including traditional giants AFC leopards and Gor Mahia.

Soon after this, the Kenya Premier League fell on hard times. The loss of sponsorship came a year after Supersport had pulled out of televising KPL matches, leaving teams with a significant financial hole. Now with Supersport out,  several players reporting having gone a number of months without pay. Two Sugarbelt clubs SoNy Sugar and Chemelil Sugar fell on hard times. SoNy Sugar, who had won the KPL title in 2006 were relegated after they failed to honour three matches. Chemelil Sugar were not doing much better. At the end of 2019, they had played 13 matches, lost 12 and draw one.

Continental Club competitions

Gor Mahia earned the right to represent Kenya in the 2019-2020 edition of the CAF Champions league. They started out well, beating Aigle Noir in the preliminary round by an aggregate score of 5-1. Things came a cropper for Kogalo in the first roiund when they fell to USM Alger of Algeria 6-1 on aggregate. Two years earlier they had played the same Algerian side and lost 3-2 on aggregate. The heavy loss was attributed to the difficult financial hardships the club was facing. Kogalo were thus relegated to the CAF Confederations cup where they faced DC Motema Pembe in the playoff.

Hassan Abdallah of Bandari in action against US Ben Guerdane

Bandari FC qualified to represent Kenya in the CAF Confederations where they gave a good account of themselves. In the preliminary round, they eliminated Al Ahli Shendy of Libya on goal aggregate, drawing 0-0 at home and 1-1 away. In the first round, they eliminated US Ben Guerdane of Tunisia, winning 2-0 at home and losing 1-2 away. In the playoff round, they faced off with moneybags, Horoya of Guinea. They lost 2-4 away and 0-1 at home. A good performance for a side that rarely plays in continental football.


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Kenya at the 2009 World Athletics championships: Vivian Cheruiyot comes of age

Background

The 2009 World Athletics championships were held at the Olympiastadion in Berlin, Germany from 15–23 August 2009. With a medal haul of four gold, six silver and one bronze, Kenya finished 3rd overall in the medal table behind USA and Jamaica. The championships will be remembered as the moment Vivian Cheruiyot finally came of age. They will also be remembered as the first time that two members of the same family won medals for Kenya: Linet Masai and Moses Masai won gold and bronze medals respectively.

Women’s 5000m: Gold for Cheruiyot, Silver for Jebiwott

Since 2003, Kenyan women had been playing second fiddle to the Ethiopians in this event, especially Tirunesh Dibaba and Meseret Defar. In 2009, Vivian Cheruiyot and Sylvia Jebiwott finally broke the stranglehold that the Ethiopians had on this event by going 1-2.

Cheruiyot started to push the pace with two laps to go. At the Bell, the pace heightened. With 300m to go, the race was reduced to Cheruiyot, Defar and Jebiwott. Defar passed Cheruiyot with 150 metres to go and appeared on pace to record another Ethiopia victory. But Cheruiyot still had plenty of petrol left in the tank which she used to chase down Defar and pass her in the last 50 metres. In the process she caused Defar to break her stride which enabled Jebiwott to overtake Defar for silver.

Race Video

Men’s Marathon: Gold for Kirui, Silver for Mutai

Abel Kirui, an employee of Kenya’s Administration Police, clocked 2:06:54 to set a new championship record. It marked the second succesive time that a Kenyan had won this event. Emmanuel Mutai completed the 1-2 when he clocked 2:07:48to take silver ahead of Tsegay Kebede of Ethiopia. It marked the second time that a country had gone 1-2 in this event after Spain in 1997

Race Video

Men’s Steeplechase: Gold for Kemboi, silver for Mateelong

Ezekiel Kemboi had won a gold medal at the 2004 Olympics. But at the World championships, he had taken 3 succesive silver medals in 2003, 2005 and, always losing to other Kenyans. So before these championships, Kemboi announced that he was tired of always taking “silver, silver, silver” and that he was going for nothing but gold this time. He ran like a man on a mission, stopping the clock at 8:00.43, a new championship record. Richard Mateelong took silver. Paul Kipsiele Koech ended fourth while defending champion Brimin Kipruto faded to 7th place.


Ezekiel Kemboi could not hide his joy at winning the World Championships for the first time ever

Women’s 10,000m: Linet Masai from with shock gold medal

Here again Meseret Defar was the firm favourite. At the 9KM mark, defar set a torrid pace to try and break the rest of the field. The 2 other Ethiopians Wude Ayalew and Meselech Melkamu followed in tow. Meanwhile Linet Masai and Grace Momanyi of Kenya led the second group. Defar appeared to br running away with the race with 100 metres to go. But she was soon passed by Melkamu. With 50 metres to go, the long strides of Masai ate up the track and she passed Defar before passsing Melkamu at the finish line for a famous gold medal.

Race Video

Other Medals.

Moses Masai, brother to Linet Masai, won a creditable bronze medal in the 10,000m behind Kenenisa Bekele and Zersenay Tadesse. Defending champion Alfred Kirwa Yego took silver in the 800m. Milcah Chemos toook silver in the women’s 3000m Steeplechase. Defending champion Janeth Jepkosgei tool silver in the women’s 800m.

Kenya Athletics
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