Kenya at the 1987 world athletics championships

The 1987 World Athletics championships were held at the Olympic stadium in Rome from August 28 to September 6. Most of the world did not expect much from Kenya. The country had performed dismally at the inaugural World championships that were held in Helsinki in 1983. Also Kenyan athletes lacked exposure, having boycotted the Olympics in 1976, 1980 and the Commonwealth games in 1986.

However Kenyan fans had some hopes given that the country had done exceptionally well at the 1987 All Africa games, sweeping almost all the medals from the 800m to the 10,000m.

In the end, Kenya surprised all by winning three medals, all gold

800m: Billy Konchellah

Coming into this race, Konchellah was world number one in this event. A month earlier, he had easily outrun the field to win gold at the 4th All Africa games. So a lot was expected from him. He ran a tactically sound race, staying in the middle of the pack until the last 300m when he made his move. When he took the lead with 150m to go, it was curtains closed for everyone else since Konchellah had the best finishing speed. As an 18 year old in 1979, he had clocked 45.38 in the 400m at the Africa athletics championships, an effort that earned him 3rd place.

Konchellah’s winning time of 1:43.06 would remain his personal best for the rest of his career. What was most impressive about him is that he was suffering from Asthma and Tuberculosis at the time.

Race Video

10,000m: Paul Kipkoech

It was a spectacular win for Paul Kipkoech against a very strong field. Kipkoech had been at the 1983 world championships, competing in the 5000m. There he finished a dismal 9th. But he had learned a lot in the intervening years, and training hard for the cross country which he and John Ngugi dominated in the mid 1980s.

Kipkoech too had won the gold medal at the All Africa games. In this race, he threw down the gauntlet, taking off on his own and setting up a torrid pace halfway through the race. The rest of the field did not follow him, thinking that he would burn himself out and they would the reel him in. But Kipkoech just continued expanding his gap. He was so far ahead and had overlapped so many people that he caused confusion leading to the last lap bell being run a lap early. This proved disastrous for many runners who had made their last lap move too early thus burning themselves out.

Among the runners that Kipkoech overlapped was the Ethiopian contender Wodajo Bulti. In the end, Kipkoech finished nearly 80 metres ahead of second place Francisco Panetta of Italy and had overlapped almost the entire field.

Race Video

Marathon: Douglas Wakiihuri

Almost no one in Kenya knew who Douglas Wakiihuri was prior to the 1987 World Athletics championships. No one expected a Kenyan to win this race because Kenya had typically done poorly in the marathon in global events. In fact only a month earlier, at the 4th All African games, Ethiopian runners had swept the podium while the top Kenyan finished 5th. Nobody knew Wakiihuri because he was based in Japan. He was the only Kenyan entrant in the race. In those days, the marathon was an afterthought for Kenya.

He however upset form book, beating a strong field that included noted marathoners who had won several city marathons such as Gelindo Bordin of Italy. Mohamed Salah of Djibouti, Steve Moneghetti of Australia and Juma Ikangaa of Tanzania.

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Kenya finishes second at the 2019 world athletics championships

 

Kenya performed brilliantly at the 2019 world athletics championships. They finished second behind perrenial 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

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Mombasa County: Build a rugby stadium instead of a pool

Mombasa county is set to begin the construction of a Sh1.7 billion ultra-modern stadium and the project is expected to be completed in 14 months.

Today is a great day for the county of Mombasa because as we have begun the construction of a world-class sports facility.” said Munywoki Kyalo on Tuesday. Kyalo is the Mombasa County sports executive

It will have a capacity of 12, 500 to accommodate football fans and international rugby matches. There will be an indoor sports arena with a capacity of 1,200 and a convention hall that can host at least 3,000 participants will be built.  There will also be a 25×50 meters swimming pool ” concluded Kyalo


Mombasa stadium was built during the colonial era and badly needs a facelift

That Kenya’s second city is going to get a decent stadium is good news for sports fans in Kenya. Mombasa’s sports facilities are dilapidated and not commensurate with a city of such stature. Also there is a shortage of decent stadia in Kenya. So acute is the shortage that football teams have considered hosting FIFA matches in Tanzania or Uganda when Kasarani and Nyayo were closed for construction.

The only aspect of this project that will not excite sports fans and which does not make sense, is the construction of an Olympic size pool. For the following reasons:

Pools are expensive to maintain

  1. Maintaining an Olympic size pool is expensive. The water must be constantly treated with chemicals to ensure it is sparkling clean every day even if it will not be used for months.
  2. Chemicals must be stocked at the facility for routine cleaning of the pool includingsodium bicarbonate (NaHCO3), 757 L (200 gal) of muriatic acid (hydrochloric acid), 378 L (100 gal) of sodium hydroxide (NaOH), 2,000 kg (907 lbs) of calcium chloride (CaCl2) and gas chlorine (Cl), and 45 kg (100 lbs) of calcium hypochlorite (Ca[ClO]2).
  3. Underground Pumps and filters must be installed and maintained

4. All this requires qualified employees who must be trained and retrained constantly which is expensive.

Olympic size Pools are rarely used and can never pay for themselves.

  1. Hardly any swimming meets are held in Kenya. And people will not pay to watch a swimming meet.
  2. There are already two Olympic size pools at Kasarani and Nyayo that have been used only sparingly since they were constructed in the Mid 1980s
  3. If an international swimming meet that requires an Olympic size pool is highly unlikely to be hosted in Mombasa. So what will the pool im Mombasa be used for?

The expense involved in maintaining an Olympic size pool has on occasion led to the Nyayo stadium pool falling into such disrepair that the water appeared a swampy green.

So why build a pool that will be expensive, difficult and costly to maintain. One that will not generate any revenue but will instead drain financial resources. Why not instead invest the money in a facility that is cheaper to maintain and one that is guaranteed to generate revenue for the county.

What am I talking about? I am talking about building a stadium that has specific facilities that are good enough to host an international rugby tournament. A rugby specific stadium

Why build a rugby specific stadium?

HSBC Rugby Sevens series.

  1. It will enable Kenya to make a serious bid to host a leg of the HSBC Rugby sevens series. Kenya j
  2. has previously made a bid but their bid was not taken seriously for a number of reasons chiefly the lack of adequate facilities.
  3. Hosting a leg of the HSBC Rugby sevens series can generate significant revenue for hotels, restaurants and other tourist facilities.
  4. When visitors come to watch the tournament, they will stay to visit other tourist destinations at the coast including Tsavo national park. This will generate millions of Kenya shillings for Mombasa county each year.

Other rugby tournaments

To convince Mombasa county to build a rugby specific stadium, KRFU could commit to hosting the annual Safari sevens in Mombasa every year or every other year if a new rugby specific stadium is constructed. Ticket sales for the tournament are typically Ksh 10 million to 20 million. A significant fraction of this will go to Mombasa county and if well used, can pay stadium maintenance for several months. Kenya rugby fans will attend a Safari sevens held in Mombasa in large numbers.


Kenya rugby fans travel and attended tournaments in large numbers

There are also numerous other rugby tournaments that can be hosted here including Elgon cup, Victoria cup, World cup qualifiers, Junior world cup qualifiers, tours of European teams and so forth. Mombasa can be come the new “go to” destination for rugby fans from all over the country. And since rugby fans travel in droves, the city of Mombasa will benefit. Traders will make money selling food, drinks, hotel rooms, taxi rides, matatu rides and so forth.

Successfully hosting a series of rugby tournaments in Mombasa is what KRFU needs to convince the international rugby board (IRB) to award Kenya a leg of the HSBC world sevens series. It took nearly two decades of work to convince FIA to bring the world rally championship back to Kenya. A similar effort and organization is needed to bring the IRB sevens series to Kenya. And eventually, Kenya could make a serious bid to host the Rugby Sevens world cup.

What is rugby specific criteria

1. Capacity: The IRB requires a minimum stadium capacity of around 20,000 to host a leg of the IRB series.
2.  Facilities: The stadium must have facilities to host all 16 teams including appropriate dressing rooms for all teams, warm up fields within the stadium and training fields close to the stadium.
3. IRB requires world class broadcast booths and VIP suites
4. Altitude: IRB strongly prefers that World sevens series be held at low altitude cities. This is the criteria that likely disqualifies Nairobi which is 1800 metres above sea level. Which is another reason Kenya needs a rugby stadium at sea level.
5. Ambience: In Kenya rugby, a tournament is not just about watching the game. It is a social event. So construction of a rugby stadium must account for concessions stands, beer parlours, social areas, tailgating areas and so forth. If this is accounted for, fans will attend in droves.
6. No running track: In rugby, fans must be close to the action. Its part of the atmosphere and the IRB will be more likely to award the series if the stadium sight lines bring fans close to the action.


IRB wants fans to be close to the action, not seperated by a running track

It seems blasphemous for a country like Kenya to build a stadium with no running track given that Kenya produces so many the world class athletes. But it is also true that there are already more than enough stadia with running tracks. And Mombasa has not hosted a major athletics competition in decades and likely never will. And nobody pays to watch athletics so the track will never pay for itself. So a running track is just another drain on resources that cannot generate any money.

There are other requirements that are stipulated by IRB including appropriate infrastructure for transportation, guaranteed funding from sponsors and hotel spaces.

Summary

Rather than build an Olympic size pool that is expensive and difficult to maintain, it makes perfect sense to instead invest the money bringing the stadium up the standards that would make hosting international rugby tournaments feasible.

The KRFU should now take it upon themselves to convince both Mombasa and Kisumu counties both of which are embarking on major construction projects. They can do this by making specific commitments about hosting tournaments in Kenya’s second and third cities. Rugby fans are numerous travel in droves and will travel upcountry and downcountry if the facilities are appropriate. KRFU should use this as leverage. KRFU must also liase with IRB to find the exact requirements for hosting world class tournaments.

And a rugby specific stadium can still also be used for football. None of this disqualifies the stadium from being used for football on a regular basis. In fact it enhances it. For one thing, football fans and players also want to be closer to the action and not sperated by a running track. In Europe today, no football stadia are being constructed with running tracks. Also, a 20,000 seat stadium in Mombasa will enable Kenya to bid to host the Africa Nations cup.

If Mombasa county feels strongly that they must build a pool for public use then why not build a smaller pool elsewhere. Again, there is no use for an Olympic size pool in Mombasa given that the ones in Nairobi are hardly ever used.

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Yet another piece of shoddy journalism from the west accuses Kenya of doping

Just days before the start of the 2019 World Athletics Championships, new claims of widespread doping in Kenya have emerged. A report from Germany’s ZDF purports to show top athletes regularly use the endurance-boosting substance EPO in training.

The shoddily done documentary supposedly shows a Doctor who admits to treating eight runners in the documentary, is filmed saying: “No-one dopes directly before competitions, here they’re using EPO while training.”

But the Doctor’s face is obscured. Why on earth would ZDF obscure the Doctor’s face? Likely because the person is a paid actor and not a Doctor. Also the Doctor readily admits to a reporter that he is breaking the law and he does so in public. Why would a person breaking the law admit as much in public?

A subsequent scene filmed with a hidden camera shows supposed athletes in a clinic getting injections which the producers claim is EPO. No proof is offered to prove that EPO is being administered and yet again the faces of the Doctors and the athletes are obscured. Once again this is likely because the people in the scene are paid actors. Why would ZDF obscure the faces of guilty people?

The report is similar to one done by German reporter Hajjo Sepelt a few years back. Working for another TV station known as ARD, he did a report on both Russia and Kenya. While in Russia, he showed clear footage of Russian coaches and athletes admitting to doping. No faces were obscured. But when he did a report on doping in Kenya, all the faces were obscured.

If indeed the footage was of people receiving injections of banned drugs then both ARD and ZDF are doing Kenya a disservice by protecting people who are breaking the law. They are also doing the world athletics fraternity a disservice by protecting dopers. But it is likely that neither ZDF nor ARD has any proof of doping in Kenya. They are most likely using actors to pose as Doctors and Athletes.

The report by ZDF also suggests that there could be corrupt people within AK and the Anti-Doping body in Kenya who are helping the athletes break the law. A letter purporting to be from AK was posted on the ZDF website. It states that AK can secure freedom for athletes who are found guilty of doping.

AK have vehemently denied that they wrote the letter. As proof, they offered the fact that the word “Athletics” was mispelled as “Athetics” on the stamp.

Their goal is to create buzz for their news outlets by creating a sensational story. The report appeals to people who believe Kenya’s success in athletics is entirely built on doping. There have been calls by fans in Europe and North America to have Kenya banned from the 2019 world athletics. Even famous British marathoner Paula Radcliffe has called for further investigations based on the report as well as a temporary ban on Kenya based on these sensational and unproven allegations.

The purpose of this article is not to state that there is no doping in Kenya. The purpose is to shed light on the sensational and shoddy journalism exhibited by German news outlets ARD and ZDF. There are many people in western countries who badly want to believe that all of Kenya’s success is because of doping. It has not helped that numerous Kenyan athletes have failed doping tests recently. But the reality is that doping in Kenya is not any worse than it is in other countries.

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Mehida by Josky Kiambukuta and TPOK Jazz (Translation and Lyrics)

Introduction

The song Mehida, was composed by Josky Kiambukuta and was released in 1983 as the lead song in the album labeled “Franco Presente Josky Kiambukuta”. The album featured three other songs composed and sung by Josky: Alita, Massini and Limbisa Ngai.

Synopsis

A Wife confronts rumour spreaders especially Those who try to destroy other people’s households. She claims that the rumors are spread by people who are obsessed with the private lives of other people. They imagine stories that they interpret to suit themselves. Her bad experience in this area leads her to advise other couples to downplay people’s talks. She says that even if they try to use witchcraft, they will not succeed because they don’t where her umbilical cord was buried. In certain African cultures, the location where an umbilical cord was buried is sacred and finding its location gives a person power over the owner of the umbilical cord.

 

Song Video

 

Song Lyrics and Translation

 

Franco and TPOK Jazz Website

 

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Kenya’s prospects at the 2019 world athletics championships

Kenya finished second in the medal table at the 2017 world athletics championships with 5 gold, 2 silver and 4 bronze medals. What are their prospects in 2019 in the heat of Doha? The 2019 season has been highly abbreviated with fewer races. Kenyans have not been as dominant as they previously were on the track or on the roads.

Men’s 800m


Ngéno Kipng’etich was the surprise winner of the 800m at the trials

 

Nijel Amos of Botswana has been inconsistent. But when in form, he has been sensational. He ran a blistering 1:41.89, the fastest time in the world since 2012. He will be the favourite for gold. Ferguson Rotich has also been solid and is having a career year. He ran a personal best of 1:42.54 in Monaco. Emmanuel Korir who looked invincible in 2018, has been far from convincing in 2019.

Prediction: Silver Medal for Ferguson Rotich

Men’s 1500m

Timothy Cheruiyot has been unbeatable in the metric mile. He was the overall Diamond League winner in this event, winning virtually every race convincingly. Whereas speed in the last lap used to be his achilles heel, he has vastly improved in this area. To prove it, he clocked 1:43.11 in the 800m at Nyayo stadium in August.

Prediction: Gold Medal for Timothy Cheruiyot

3000m steeplechase

The last time a Kenyan did not win this event at the world championships was in 1987. However 2019 will likely mark the first time in 32 years that a Kenya will not win this event. Defending world champion Conseslus Kipruto has been plagued by injuries since 2018 and is unlikely to regain his form. Kenya’s best hope for a medal rests with Benjamin Kigen. At his most recent Diamond League race, he was beaten into 4th place by Getnet Wale and Souffiane el Bakkali of Morocco.

Prediction: Bronze medal for Benjamin Kigen

Men’s 5000m

The 5000m is rarely run on the Diamond League circuit and as such is very difficult to predict. But one things is clear, Kenya is very weak in this event in 2019. Kenya’s best prospect is Nicholas Kimeli. But his is unlikely to finish on the podium. The Ethiopians have been dominant in this event and may sweep the medals.

Prediction: No Medals for Kenya

Men’s 10,000m

This is a race that is run very rarely nowadays and as such is difficult to predict. The three fastest times of 2019 are held by Ethiopians led by Hagos Gebrehiwet who clocked 26:48.95 at Hengelo, the fastest time of 2019. However Rhonex Kipruto soundly beat all the Ethiopians including Gebrehiwet. And it was a dominant display by Kipruto. Another wildcard is the Ugandan Joshua Cheptegei who won the world cross country championships in convincing fashion.

Prediction: Gold Medal for Rhonex Kipruto

Men’s marathon

Geoffrey Kirui is the defending champion and will be Kenya’s best prospect. He does really well in tactical races which are not paced. This puts him in good position to beat the field in the heat and humidity of Doha.

Prediction: Gold Medal for Geoffrey Kirui

Women’s 800m

With Caster Semenya and Francine Niyonsaba disqualified, the clear race favourite is Ajee Wilson of the USA who has a season’s best of 1:57.72 , that is second only to Caster Semenya. Other strong contenders including Raevyn Rogers of the USA , Natoya Goule of Jamaica and Winnie Nanyondo of Uganda.

Until a month ago, Kenya appeared hopeless in this event. However the recent emergence of Jackline Wambui and the return to form of 2013 world champion Eunice Sum, has raised Kenya hopes. Both athletes dipped under 1:59 at the Kenya trials.

Prediction: Bronze Medal for Jackline Wambui

Women’s 1500m

After missing all of 2018 due to maternity leave, world champion Faith Kipyegon is back. She signaled her intentions by winning a Diamond League race in Zurich in a time of 3:59.04 . She continued her good form by winning the Kenyan trials.

She will have to contend with Dutch runner Sifan Hassan who is the clear favourite this time around. She has been in imperious form, setting a record in the mile and also recording an impressive time of 3:55.30 in the 1500m, a season’s best time. Laura Muir and Genzebe Dibaba have also run well this year. Kipyegon’s experience will carry her to a medal.

Prediction: Bronze Medal for Faith Kipyegon.

Women’s 3000m steeplechase


Beatrice Chepkoech at the trials

Whereas Kenyan men are struggling in this event, the women have been rather dominant. In particular, Beatrice Chepkoech has been in imperious form. She set the world record in 2018, beating the previous record by nearly 8 seconds. She has won virtually every race in dominant fashion.

Prediction: Gold medal for Beatrice Chepkoech, silver medal for Hyvin Kiyeng

Women’s 5000m

Hellen Obiri is the defending champion. She is also set a new Kenya record in 2018. She has the fastest time in the world for 2019 at 14:20.36  which she ran in July. However her form in the past month has dipped. At the most recent Diamond League race, she finished in 4th place, 7 seconds behind Sifan Hassan who is peaking at the right time. Agnes Tirop who is the second fastest in the world this season, did not qualify. Kenya’s best prospect is Lilian Kasait who won the trials convincingly. She will have a torrid time dealing with Sifan and the Ethiopian squad.

Prediction: No Medal for Kenya

Women’s 10,000m

Agnes Jebet Tirop won the Kenya national championships in August with a time of 31:25.38. This is the fastest ever 10,000m clocking at altitude. She also has the second fastest time in the world in the 5000m. But none of this will have any bearing given the heat and humidity of Doha. Also the top four times of 2019 are held by Ethiopians

Prediction: Silver Medal for Agnes Tirop

Women’s Marathon

Former world champion Edna Kiplagat is back at 39. She will team up with Visiline Jepkesho and Ruth Chepngetich, none of whom have shown any championship pedigree. Don’t let her age fool you. Kiplagat is still going strong. She won the Boston marathon in 2017 and was the silver medalist at the last world championships.

Prediction: Edna Kiplagat to win bronze.

Other events

Javelin thrower Julius Yego has been in poor form in the last three years. However his dominant performance at the 2019 All Africa games in Rabat, Morocco, raised hopes that he is returning to the form that saw him win the world championships in 2015 and the Olympic silver medal in 2016. In Rabat, he tossed the javelin to a distance of 87.73m. This is the 7th best in the world in 2019. He has an outside chance of a podium finish.

In the mixed 4 X 400m relay, Kenya won the bronze medal at the Bahamas world relay championships. They are fielding a weaker team this time around and will be hard pressed to repeat the feat.

Overall Prediction for Team Kenya

4 gold medals, 3 silver, 4 bronze

Kenya Team List

400m: – Alphas Kishoyian, Emmanuel Korir (men). Hellen Syombua, Mary Moraa (women)

800m: – Ngéno Kipng’etich, Emmanuel Korir, Ferguson Rotich (Men). Eunice Sum, Jackline Wambui (women)

1,500m: – Elijah Manang’oi, Timothy Cheruiyot, Ronald Kwemoi, George Manang’oi. Faith Chepng’etich, Winnie Chebet

3,000m steeplechase: – Conseslus Kipruto, Leonard Bett, Benjamin Kigen, Abraham Kibiwott (men). Beatrice Chepkoech, Hyvin Kiyeng, Celliphine Chespol, Fancy Cherono (women)

5,000m: – Nicholas Kipkorir Kimeli (men). Hellen Obiri, Lilian Kasait, Margaret Chelimo (women)

10,000m: – Rhonex Kipruto, Rodgers Kwemoi, Alex Oloitiptip (men). Agnes Jebet Tirop, Hellen Obiri, Rosemary Wanjiru (women)

20km race walk: – Samuel Gathimba (men). Grace Wanjiru (women)

Marathon: – Geoffrey Kirui, Amos Kipruto, Paul Lonyangata, Laban Korir (men). Ruth Chepngétich, Edna Kiplagat, Visiline Jepkesho (women)

Mixed Relay: – Alphas Kishoyian, Alex Sampao, Joseph Poghisio, Mary Moraa, Gladys Musyoki

Javelin: – Julius Yego (men)

High Jump: – Matthew Sawe (men)

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Kenya boxing at the 2019 All Africa games


Shaffi Bakari

Kenya sent a team of 12 boxers to the 2019 All Africa games. 8 men and 4 women. In total, Kenya won 5 medals, 1 silver and 4 bronze. This was an improvement from 2015 when Kenya won only 2 bronze medals. Kenya won a total of 11 bouts and lost 11 bouts. They finished 11th overall

The silver medalist was Shaffi Bakari. The bronze medalists were Boniface Mogunde, George Cosby Ouma, Fred Ramogi and Elly Ajowi who added to the bronze medal he won in 2015

Flyweight HASSAN SHAFFI BAKARI
Beat MORTAJI SAID of Morocco 3-2
Beat BUSINGE CHAMPION of Uganda 4-1
Beat WIBSHET DAWIT BEKELE of Ethiopia 4-1
Lost to MAHOMMED Rajab Otukile of Botswana 5-0

Featherweight: OKOTH NICHOLAS OKONGO
Beat MOLIKO IYANGA ARMANDO 5-0
Beat GOMES ERNESTO SEGUNDA SILVESTRE of Angola 5-0
Lost to HAMOUT MOHAMED of Morocco 3-2

Middleweight: OUMA GEORGE COSBY
Beat KOUDEHA JOHN of Togo 5-0
Beat PAKELA Arena of Lesotho 3-2
Lost to ALLALI TARIK of Morocco 5-0

Welterwight: MAINA BONIFACE MOGUNDE
Beat KERALAH MESFIN BIRU of Ethiopia 3-0
Beat GOMA NAFITAL AFONSO of Angola 5-0
Lost to OSOBA ABDUL-AFEEZ AYOOLA of Nigeria 5-0

Heavyweight: OCHOLA ELLY AJOWI
Beat ARINZE FRANKLIN CHUKWUDI of Nigeria 3-1
Lost to BAALLA YOUNESS of Morocco 5-0

Superheavy: RAMOGI FREDRICK OTIENO
Beat FIRISSE MOHAMED of Morocco (Ref ended fight round 1)
Lost to TSHIKEVA KIMBERBI JEAMIE of DR Congo 3-1

Light Heavyweight: OWUOR EDWIN OKONGO
Lost to KAONGA MBACHI of Zambia 5-0

Lightweight: IRUNGU ETHAN MAINA
Lost to OMAR ABDUL WAHIB of Ghana 4-1

Womens Middle: ANDIEGO ELIZABETH ADHIAMBO
Lost to ADEJUMOLA TOYIN ESTHER of Nigeria 4-1

Womens Welter: SIMBI LORNA KUSA
Lost to SHOGBAMU BOLANLE TEMITOPE of Nigeria 5-0

Women’s Fly: ONGARE CHRISTINE
Lost to ORIYOMI AYISAT MORENIKEJI of Nigeria 5-0

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Impressive bronze medal for Kenya women’s 4 X 100m team

Kenya continued to rise in the sprinting ranks as the Kenya women’s 4 X 100m team secured a memorable bronze medal at the 2019 All Africa games in Rabat. The quartet of Maximilla Imali, Maureen Nyatichi Thomas, Maureen Ndoro and Eunice Kadogo clocked 45.44 to take the bronze medal behind Nigeria and South Africa.

Kenya also won a bronze medal in this event at the 2018 Africa athletics championships. On that occassion, the quartet of Joan Cherono, Frascha Wangari, Millicent Ndoro and Eunice Kadogo clocked 45.58. Prior to that, Kenya had gone through a long drought in this event. The last time Kenya won a medal at the All Africa games was in 1987 when the quartet of Geraldine Shitandayi, Esther Kavaya, Ruth Waithera and Jane Wanja set a new Kenya record of 45.24 and won bronze.

Back to Rabat, it was Maximilla Imali who ran a solid opening leg passing the baton to Millicent Ndoro who quickly made up the stagger on her outside opponent, putting Kenya in excellent position before passing to Maureen Thomas. By the time she passed to Kadogo, Kenya was in 3rd place. Kadogo held on for 3rd place despite a determined attempt by the Namibian runner to close the gap.The baton passing was flawless for which the coaches deserve credit.

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Vanice Nyagisera with a dramatic win at the All Africa games

Vanice Kerubo Nyagisera gave Kenya a rare medal in the women’s 400m hurdles at the 2019 All Africa games. In the process she became the first Kenyan ever to win this event in a continental meet. Also Kenyans rarely win any medals in this event

To find the last time a Kenyan won a medal in this event, you would have to go back to the 1987 All Africa games when crowd favourite Rose Tata Muya won a silver medal behind Maria Usifo of Nigeria.

At the 2019 All Africa games, it was a dramatic finish in which Nyagisera went from 3rd place with 100 metres to go and passed home favourite Lamie Lhabze at the finish line. It was a photo finish that required judges to determine the winner.

The winning time of 56.95 is about one second slower than the national record held by Francisca Koki. For the Nyagisera however, the future is bright. Her listed date of birth is April 2001, which makes her 18 years of age. With the appropriate guidance and hard work, she could go on to challenge for a medal at the Commonwealth games in 2022.

Race Video

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Eunice Sum is baaack !

Crowd favourite Eunice Sum has been missing in action and inconsistent for the better part of the last four years, leaving fans wondering about her whereabouts and her form.

Sum first made a name for herself when she finished second at the 2012 African Championships behind Francine Niyonsaba. The following year, she shocked the world, winning the gold medal at the world championships. In the process she beat a strong field that included favourite Maria Savinova of Russia, a runner who would later be implicated in a doping scandal. She instantly became a house-hold name all over the country.

However her form begun to dip. In 2015, she settled for Bronze at the world championships. Then at the Olympics in 2016, she did not make the final. She qualified for the 2017 world championships but withdrew due to injuries. And at the 2018 African championships, her comeback attem,pt fell flat as she did not make the final.

However she is on her way back to the top if her results from Thursday are anything to go by. At the Weltklasse Diamond League race on Zurich, she won the women’s 800m in a time of 2:00.40. The time is not earth shaking. But a win in a Diamond League race is important for Sum. Her lack of performance in the past 4 years has largely been due to factors such as injuries, lack of confidence and lack of motivation due to IAAF issues. With her confidence and motivation back, Sum could be a contender for a medal at the Doha world championships and the 2020 Olympics. The country needs her as there is a distinct lack of Kenyan performers at this event.

Results

POS ATHLETE COUNTRY MARK
1 Eunice Jepkoech Sum  KEN 2:00.40
2 Kate Grace  USA 2:00.66
3 Hedda Hynne  NOR 2:00.79
4 Anna Sabat  POL 2:01.21
5 Selina Büchel  SUI 2:01.32
6 Lore Hoffmann  SUI 2:02.22
7 Ellie Baker  GBR 2:02.79
8 Selina Fehler  SUI 2:05.75
9 Valentina Rosamilia  SUI 2:05.78
10 Joanna Jóźwik  POL 2:06.89

 

Chepkoech leads Kenya sweep

Beatrice Chepkoech was once again in imperious form as she led a Kenyan 1-2-3-4 sweep in the 3000m steeplechase at the 2019 Weltklasse Diamond League meet in Zurich.

The Kenyan men steeplechasers may be struggling and are in danger of losing their stranglehold on this event. But the women are more than making up for it. Especially Chepkoech who once again put on a dominant display to beat a world class field.

Caroline Tuigong was once again on hand to perform a superb pacing job, setting the table for the Kenyan quartet to run impressive times and finish well ahead of the field.

Results

POS ATHLETE COUNTRY MARK Points
1 Beatrice Chepkoech  KEN 9:01.71 8
2 Hyvin Kiyeng  KEN 9:03.83 7
3 Norah Jeruto  KEN 9:05.15 6
4 Daisy Jepkemei  KEN 9:06.66 5
5 Gesa Felicitas Krause  GER 9:07.51 4
6 Emma Coburn  USA 9:10.01 3
7 Winfred Mutile Yavi  BRN 9:14.84 2
8 Celliphine Chespol  KEN 9:20.04 1
9 Karoline Bjerkeli Grøvdal  NOR 9:20.69
10 Mercy Chepkurui  KEN 9:29.61
11 Maruša Mišmaš  SLO 9:53.49
Geneviève Lalonde  CAN DNF
Caroline Tuigong  KEN DNF
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