Kenya football review for 2016

The year 2016 started on a positive note. After four years of misery, the Kenya football fraternity finally got rid of Sam Nyamweya who had been FKF chairman for four years. Through incompetence and corruption, Nyamweya had caused misery to Kenya football fans culminating in a series of poor results and humiliating defeats. Nyamweya against all odds was dropped out of the race when he realized that he was out of contention. He joined former Kenya international Sammy Sholei who had dropped out earlier. This left Ambrose Rachier, the Gor Mahia chairman and Nick Mwendwa who ran a well organized campaign to beat Rachier by garnering 65% of the vote to Rachier’s 35%. There was now a new dawn in Kenya football.

2017 Africa Nations cup qualifiers

Stars pose before playing Congo
Back Row: Anthony Akumu, Jockins Atudo, Michael Olunga, Brian Mandela, Boniface Oluoch, Jesse Were, Victor Wanyama Front Row: Eric Ouma, Eric Johana, David Owino, Ayub Timbe

One of Mwendwa’s first actions was to hire a new coach for Harambee stars. Out went previous coach Bobby Williamson whom Mwendwa indicated was too expensive. Instead Stan Okumbi was hired. Okumbi had been coaching second tier side Kariobangi Sharks. There was a lot of hue and cry when Okumbi was hired due to his lack of experience and lack of accomplishments.

Okumbi’s first assignment was to play Guinea Bissau home and away. It started poorly. Two Kariobangi Sharks players were included in the team: Pattilah Omoto and Ovella Ochieng. Questions were raised as to why the duo were included in the team. To most it seemed a ploy by Mwendwa was trying to promote his own players so that he could potentially sell them to an overseas club. The combination of poor fielding and poor preparations took its tool. Kenya lost 0-1 to Guinea Bissau both home and away thus ending their hopes of qualifying for AFCON 2017.

Kenya did recover to put on a better show in their last two games. With better preparations, Kenya beat Congo-Brazzaville 2-1 at Kasarani with goals from Belgium based Ayub Timbe and fast rising Mathare United midfielder Eric Johana who neatly looped the ball past the advancing Congo keeper. This match also saw the debut of Kenyan born Spaniard Ismail Gonzalez who opted to play for Kenya. In the final qualifier, Kenya came within a whisker of beating Zambia in Lusaka before conceding a late goal.  The match ended 1-1. Kenya placed last in their group with 5 points.

International Friendlies and surge in FIFA ranking

Unlike in the Nyamweya and Hatimy eras where Kenya never played any high quality friendlies, in 2016, Harambee stars did play some high quality friendlies. The most notable of these was a 1-0 win over Congo DRC in Kinshasa in front of a massive partisan crowd. The all important goal was scored by Michael Olunga. Kenya also beat Liberia 1-0. The all important goal came from a solo Paul Were effort after one of his typical surges on the left flank. Kenya then beat Mozambique with similar score in Nairobi with a goal from Eric Johana

Okumbi was now holding an 8 match unbeaten run that saw Kenya rise to position number 89 in the FIFA ranking. Kenya had started the year 2016 in position number 126.

Kenyans Abroad


Michael Olunga took the Swedish league by storm

After a stellar 2015 season that saw him score 38 goals, Michael Olunga attended trials in Sweden with top tier side IF Djugarden. The trials were succesful. And despite a slow start, Olunga put on a stellar display that saw him score 12 goals in the Swedish domestic league. He finished as runner up in the new comer of the year vote.

The Kenyan trio of Jesse Were, David Owino and Anthony Akumu played stellar roles for Zesco United of Zambia that enabled the Zambian side to reach the semi-finals of the 2016 Africa champions league before narrowly losing to eventual winners Mamelodi Sundowns. Both were feted by the Zambian club: Owino received the Fans and Chairmans Award while Were took home the Golden Boot award. Were, who joined the club from Tusker early this year, scored 19 competitive goals, 15 in the domestic league and 4 in the Champions league.

Victor Wanyama continued his rise in world football: In June 2016, Premier League club Tottenham Hotspur signed Wanyama,on a five-year contract for a fee of £11 million. Wanyama had previously worked with Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino who brought him to Southampton in July 2013. Wanyama scored his first goal for the club on his home debut against Crystal Palace, in the 82nd minute of a 1–0 league win for Spurs.

Club tournaments


Tusker won the league and cup double in 2016

Tusker boasting veteran players like Allan Wanga and Noah Wafula, reclaimed the Kenya Premier League title from Gor Mahia who had won three seasons in a row. Gor Mahia were a close second and lost largely due to having been deducted three points for hooliganism. Traditional giants AFC Leopards had a dismal season, finishing 13th. Tusker also won the GoTV shield beating Ulinzi in the final.

Gor Mahia’s squabbles with coach Frank Nuttall culminated in the club losing to Madagascan side CNaPS 1-3 on aggregate in the opening round of the Africa champions league. But even more importantly it caused the club to start the league on a poor note with three straight draws which put paid to its efforts to retain the league title.

Bandari FC, coached by the accomplished Twahir Muhiddin and boasting former internationals like Dan Sserunkuma, Edwin Lavatsa, Musa Mudde, Anthony Kimani, Wilson Obungu and Shaban Kenga, were bundled out by St Eloi Lupopo of Congo DRC, losing 0-2 away and drawing 1-1 at home. Their goal in Mombasa was scored by Lavatsa from the penalty spot.

Muhoroni Youth won the KPL top 8 tournament beating Sofapaka, Ulinzi Stars and Gor Mahia. And they did this while suffering a series of player strikes and go slows as the players complained about poor treatment by the club’s top brass. Most notably, lead striker Wycliffe Ochomo who had been the league’s leading scorer, quit the team midway through the season.

Sofapaka, a team that had been a giant in Kenyan football for almost a decade and even won the league in 2009, were almost relegated. They survived the axe only the last day of the league when they beat Thika United 5-1 while Ushuru lost to Posta Rangers.

In the second tier league, Nzoia United and Kariobangi Sharks finished first and second respectively to earn promotion to the Kenya Premier League.

John Makwatta of Ulinzi was the KPL top scorer in 2016 with 15 goals. Wycliffe Ochomo finished second with 12 and would likely have been top scorer had he not quit playing for Muhoroni midway through the season. Midfield dynamo Kenneth Muguna of Western Stima was voted Kenya player of the year.

Harambee Starlets sparkle in 2016

After years in the doldrums, the Kenya women’s national team Harambee Starlets finally captured the imagination of Kenya football fans. They made history by qualifying for the Women’s Africa Nations cup after beating Algeria in the final qualifier. The first leg ended 2-2 in Algiers. Kenya’s goals came from an own goal and from Mwanahalima Adam, a school girl at St John’s Kaloleni. The return leg at Kasarani was dramatic. Kenya looked set to be eliminated as the Algerians led 1-0 late in the game. A late goal by substitute Cheris Avilia Salano secured a 1-1 draw for Kenya who went through on aggregate.

In August, Starlets were invited to play in the COTIF tournament in Spain. They started well, beating Portuguese side Benfica 3-0 with an Essie Akida hat trick. They then beat Spanish side Espanyol 3-1 with goals from Essie Akida (2) and Neddy Atieno. In teh semis Kenya lost 0-2 to Real Betis before losing to Espanyol and finishing fourth. Essie Akidwa was the top scorer in the tournament.

In September, the Starlets played in the CECAFA women’s challenge cup. They won all their group stage matches comfortably, beating Uganda and Burundi 4-0 and dispatching Zanzibar 11-0. They then beat Ethiopia 3-2 in the semis, earning revenge against a team that had beaten Kenya 5-0 in a friendly in 2012. In the finals Kenya lost 1-2 to Tanzania amid complaints that the referee was biased in favour of Tanzania.

Kenya prepared for the Africa nations cup by beating Egypt in a friendly 1-0 thanks to a goal by Corazone Awino Aquino. Kenya then lost 1-2 to the muscular Cameroonians at Kasarani 1-2.

With adequate preparations which are a rarity in Kenya, the Starlets then went to Morocco for their Africa cup campaign. They were without stalwarts Mwanahalima Adam who was sitting her KCSE exams and Neddy Atieno who was unavailable, having joined the Kenya Defence Forces. They found the Africa cup a bridge too far. They lost 1-3 to Ghana, 1-3 to Morocco before going down 0-4 to Nigeria. Starlets coach David Ouma attributed the poor performance to lack of mental strength among the players.

It was however a valuable experience for Kenya who are only now starting to emerge from the doldrums. In November of 2016, betting company Sportpesa announced that they would sponsor the national women’s league, an act that will only serve to enhance Kenya’s standards further.

 


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Kenya rugby review for 2016: Kenya soars up the ranking

The year 2016 saw the Kenya fifteen -a side team rise to its highest ever IRB rankings at number 22. This occurred after Kenya, coached by South African Jerome Paarwater,  won 5 out of 6 tests. There were wins over Brazil, Uganda (twice), Zimbabwe and Hong Kong. Only Namibia beat Kenya.

Kenya’s first test of the year was against Brazil. The match was played in Amapa, Northern Brazil. It was the second time  the two sides were meeting. The first encounter was in 2011. It ended in a 27-25 win for Kenya. This time Kenya won 18-17 in a tense encounter. With three minutes left, Kenya was trailing 15-17. A late penalty by Darwin Mukidza salvaged a win for Kenya.

Scrum-half Edwin Achayo with a tactical kick

Kenya scored two tries against Brazil’s one. The tries were scored by David Ambunya and Simon Muniafu, son of the legendary Mad Max Muniafu.

2016 Elgon Cup

Having accomplished a morale boosting win over Brazil, Kenya took on rivals Uganda in the opening leg of the 2016 Elgon cup. the match was played in Kampala. Kenya destroyed Uganda 48-10. Darwin Mukidza was the star  of the afternoon, scoring three tries. Kenya led 29-10 at halftime and with resolute defence, completely shut Uganda out in the second half.

The return leg of the Elgon cup also doubled up as a CAR Africa cup match. This time Uganda put up much stronger resistance and led 14-12 midway through the first half. Kenya recovered to lead to lead 23-19 at halftime before winning 45-24.

Kenya won the 2016 Elgon cup with an aggregate score of 93-34 to assert their complete supremacy over Uganda and recover the cup they lost in 2015 when Uganda beat Kenya A.

2016 CAR Africa cup

Kenya participated in the top division of the CAR Africa cup. Aside from beating Uganda, Kenya recorded their highest ever win over Zimbabwe, beating them 61-15. As a result Kenya gained a measure of revenge by beating the side that had ruined Kenya’s hopes of qualifying for the 2015 Rugby World Cup. It was also a reversal of 1990s scores when Zimbabwe would routinely beat Kenya by significant margins.

The big wins over Zimbabwe and Uganda were tempered by e 56-21 loss to Namibia in Windhoek, which once again showed that Kenya has a long way to travel before they can catch Namibia.

Kenya reaches its highest ever IRB ranking

Kenya’s last test of the year was against Hong Kong. The two sides had met back in 2011 in Dubai with Hong Kong emerging 44-17 winners. This time, they faced a vastly improved Kenya setup. First it was Kenya A who emerged 28-14 winners over the visitors. Days later, Kenya beat Hong Kong 34-10. At the time Kenya was ranked at number 24 in the IRB rankings, two places behind Hong Kong. The win enabled Kenya to climb to number 22, the highest ever ranking by Kenya.

Kenya makes history in the IRB sevens

2016 marked the first time that Kenya ever won a leg of the IRB sevens series. It happened in Singapore. After finishing second in their group behind South Africa, Kenya recorded a convincing win over France. Then followed a dramatic win over Argentina in which Collins Injera converted a last second penalty to give Kenya a 15-12 win. In the final Kenya beat Fiji 30-7. Collins Injera was named player of the final.

Kenya players celebrate after winning the Singapore sevens

Nevertheless Kenya’s performance in the 2015-2016 series was inconsistent. They ended the season by winning the shield in Scotland. Kenya finished 10th overall.

Collins Injera became the all time IRB leading scorer with 235 tries. When he broke the record in a 29-12 win over France in London, it was his brother Humphrey Kayange who set him up.

Olympics disaster

Much was expected from Kenya at the Olympics especially after their win in Singapore. However Kenya played poorly, losing all their group games to Great Britain, Japan and New Zealand. Kenya was thus relegated to the playoffs to determine positions 9 to 12. Here they shockingly lost to Spain before salvaging a win over hosts Brazil to avoid finishing last. Kenya finished 11th out of 12 teams

Kenya’s problems were blamed on poor arrangements made by the National Olympic Committee of Kenya as well as the fact that Kenya arrived in Rio a good 16 days before the tournament was to begin. This apparently caused the players to relax too much and get into a party mood rather than focus on the task ahead.

The women’s side had qualified for Rio after the original qualifiers (South Africa) pulled out. They did not fare any better, losing the three opening pool matches to New Zealand, Spain and Japan. They then beat Colombia 22-10 , a result that enabled them to finish 11th out of 12 teams.

Kabras Sugar win their first ever Kenya cup

Upstarts Kabras Sugar history became the second team from outside Nairobi to win the Kenya cup. This they accomplished by beating Impala Saracens 19-5 in the final. Kabras had strengthened their squad by signing a number of players who featured for the Kenya XV and sevens sides including Dan Sikuta, Brian Tanga,  and Edwin Achayo. Even more tellingly, Kabras Sugar signed four Fijians, Jone Kubu, hooker Cava Racigi, fly-half Navuso Jone and flanker Apenisa Natabua

In the third place playoff, traditional giants, Kenya Harlequins beat defending champions KCB 36-29 while Impala II won the Eric Shirley Shield after a 19-11 victory over Kabras Sugar.

In the KRU National Sevens Circuit, Nakuru RFC’s dominance came to an end as another upstart side Homeboyz lifted their maiden local title after collecting128 points.

Homeboyz dominated the series, winning three legs at Nakuru’s Prinsloo, Kisumu’s Dala and newly introduced Nanyuki 7s. They also reached two finals where they lost in Driftwood and Kabeberi.

The team went on to produce a huge chunk of players to the 2016-17 Kenya Sevens squad in the likes of Oscar Ayodi,  Alvin Otieno, Leonard Mugaisi, Bush Mwale, Cyprian Kuto, and Augustine Lugonzo.

Tragic Deaths

In 2016, Kenya rugby lost one of the its most influential personalities. Eric Situma, popularly known as “Stu” passed away after a brief illness. In the mid 1990s, Situma was a player for Impala RFC as well as the Kenya national team where he played at flyhalf and fullback. After hanging up his boots, Situma became a rugby evangelist traveling around the city of Nairobi introducing the sport of rugby to various primary schools.

For his efforts, Situma was recognized by both the IRB and Rugby Afrique. In 2015, he was appointed fulltime as Rugby Afrique [former Confederation of African Rugby] regional development officer. Situma was head coach when Nakuru RFC won their first ever Kenya cup trophy. He later relocated to Nairobi and in 2016 he had been appointed coach of Impala RFC, his former team.

Situma fell ill while on assignment in Kigali Rwanda. He was flown to Nairobi where he passed away while undergoing treatment at Aga Khan hospital.

Two young players suffered abrupt deaths :  Nondescripts center Ogeto Gecheo and Mwamba scrum-half Victor Wayodi both passed away while playing in the Kenya Cup. Ogeto passed on at a Nairobi hospital where he was recuperating after suffering a freak injury during the club’s fixture against Strathmore Leos. Wayodi suffered a cardiac arrest during their game against Nakuru RFC which ended 10-10 at the Impala Club and sadly passed on while being attended to at the Nairobi Women’s Hospital in Hurlingham.

 

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Kangogo and Kibiwott win in Houilles

Cornelius Kangogo clocked 28:19 to win the 45th Corrida Pedestre Internationale de Houilles 10km, an IAAF Bronze Label Road Race, on Sunday December 18. Kangogo, who is 23, has now won the race three times, equalling fellow Kenyan Micah Kogo.

The race ended with a ferocious battle over the last 300 metres as 5 runners vied for the podium. Kangogo proved to have the most horsepower left and just as he did last year, winning in a blanket finish. Only one second seperated the 5 leaders.

Men’s Results

1. Cornelius Kangogo (KEN) 28:19
2. Jemal Yimer Mekonnen (ETH) 28:19
3. Al Mahjoud Dazza (BRN) 28:19
4. Thierry Ndikumwenayo (BDI) 28 :19
5. Dawit Fikadu (ETH) 28 :20
6. Julien Wanders (SUI) 28:22

Kibiwott breaks course record

Viola Kibiwott who is known mostly as a miler, had a glorious debut as a 10K runner when she broke the course record. And she did so in dominant fashion, finishing over 30 seconds ahead of second placed finisher, Katrina Wooton.

Kibiwott competed at the 2015 world championships, finishing 4th in the 5000m. She competed at the world championships of 2009 and 2011 as well as the 2008 Olympics in the 1500m. Each time she did not go beyond the semi-finals. She won the gold medals at the 2000 and 2001 world cross country championships junior race.

WOMEN Results
1. Viola Jelegat Kibiwot (KEN) 31:14
2. Katrina Wooton (GBR) 31:47
3. Carolyn Jepkosgei (KEN) 32:54

 


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Minzata by Josky Kiambukuta (Lyrics and Translation)

Introduction to Minzata

The song Minzata is from the 1987 album “Franco Presente Josky Kiambukuta”. It was recorded in Brussels after Josky was convinced by Franco to return to TPOK Jazz. Josky had left the band in 1986 and recorded a number of albums with Ntesa Dalienst, Serge Kiambukuta and Esperant Kisangani

Upon his return, Franco rewarded Josky with his own album within the TPOK Jazz setup. In addition to Minzata, the song also featured the classic disco hit Kita Mata Bloque as well as a rendition of Josky’s early 1980s hit “Tokabola Sentiment” which was now known as “Osilisi Ngai Mayele“. All three songs are about the problems of love, a common theme for Josky.

This particular song “Minzata” is about a man whom after several years of marriage,  has just deserted the marriage to live with a girl on the pretext that his wife no longer appreciates him. The wife denounces the action of the husband. She asks how could the man leave her after making her have so many children, in addition to doing all the housework. She expresses her feelings of suffering and finally in a defiant mode decides that she is abandoning the marriage as well.

Aside from Josky, there are lyrics by Madilu System and Malage de Lugendo.

Song Video

Translation and Lyrics







 

Franco and TPOK Jazz website
Kenya Music Page

 

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Kenya results at the 2016 Cape Town sevens


Cyprian Kuto scores against Fiji. Bill Odhiambo is behind him providing support

Group Stage

Kenya 33 France 14
Tries: Ambaka(2), B. Odhiambo(2), Lugonzo, Mugaisi
Conversions: Lugonzo(3)

Kenya 22 Fiji 28
Tries: Omondi B. Odhiambo, Oyoo, Kuto
Conversions: Lugonzo(2)

Kenya 24 Japan 5
Tries: Lugonzo, B. Odhiambo(2), Tanga
Conversions: Lugonzo(2)

Cup Quarter-Final

Kenya 7 New Zealand 28
Tries: Tanga
Conversions: Lugonzo

Plate Semi Final

Kenya 19 Wales 14
Tries: Ambaka(2), Mukidza
Conversions: Tanga(2)

Plate Final

Kenya 21 Fiji 33
Tries: Ambaka, Amonde, Oyoo
Conversions: Lugonzo(3)

Squad

Martin Owilah
Daniel Sikuta
Frank Wanyama
Leonard Mugaisi
Billy Odhiambo
Darwin Mukidza
Cyprian Kuto
Andrew Amonde
Nelson Oyoo
Augustine Lugonzo
Willy Ambaka

 

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Chemos awarded 2009 gold as cheaters Dominguez and Zaripova are busted

Kenyan steeplechase ace Milcah Chemos Cheywa has been awarded the gold medal for the 3000m steeplechase for the 2009 world athletics championships. Chemos who was 23 at the time had initially won the bronze after clocking a personal best of 9:08.57.

However the gold and silver medalists have since been disqualified for doping. Spain’s Marta Dominguez, who won the race in nine minutes, 7.32 seconds, a Spanish record and the fourth fastest ever time then, and Russia’s Yuliya Zarudneva (now Yuliya Zaripova).

However, on November 19, 2015, the Court of Arbitration in Sport (CAS) found Dominguez guilty of a doping violation and stripped her the gold medal, elevating Zarudneva to gold and Chemos to silver.

IAAF President Coe, who has been fighting to rid the sport of an image tainted by doping allegations and corruption at its Monaco headquarters, handed the gold medal to Athletics Kenya President Jack Tuwei at a farewell dinner that followed the IAAF Congress at the Fairmont Hotel on Saturday night.

Chemos was delighted.

“What I have learnt is that a genuine name and personality will always remain,” a delighted Chemos said.

“Athletes should learn a lesson from these dopers that whatever you take, it will always come out, however, long. Shortcuts are not the way.”

Chemos now has two gold medals from the world championships, after having won the gold medal outright at the 2013 world championships.

Earlier, She was also awarded the silver medal for the 2011 world championships after Zaripova, was disqualified for doping.

 


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Kenya at the 2016 Dubai Sevens

Kenya takes on Canada

Group Stage

Kenya 14 France 24
Tries: Ambaka, Oyoo
Conversions: Lugonzo(2)

Kenya 17 Japan 7
Tries: Wanyama, Sikuta, Ambaka
Conversions: Lugonzo, Tanga

Kenya 12 Australia 17
Tries: Ambaka B. Odhiambo
Conversions: Tanga

Challenge Trophy Quarter-Final

Kenya 22 Canada 14
Tries: Kuto, Lugonzo, Oyoo, Mugaisi
Conversions: Tanga

Challenge Trophy Semi Final

Kenya 19 USA 21
Tries: Ambaka(2), Oyoo
Conversions: Tanga(2)

Squad

Martin Owilah
Daniel Sikuta
Frank Wanyama
Leonard Mugaisi
Billy Odhiambo
Darwin Mukidza
Cyprian Kuto
Andrew Amonde
Nelson Oyoo
Augustine Lugonzo
Willy Ambaka

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Massu by Jolie Detta and TPOK Jazz (Lyrics and Translation)

Introduction Massu and Jolie Detta

In 1986, Franco for the first time ever made a recording with a female artiste. Her name was Jolie Detta, a daughter of a Greek father and Zairean mother. The tall and breathtakingly gorgeous Detta was relatively unknown up to this point. She had previously sung with CHOC stars.

Detta performed two songs on this album namely Massu and Layile, both composed by Franco. The album catapulted Detta to instant fame. In 1986 she accompanied Franco on a tour of Kenya where she performed to the delight of Kenyan fans for whom Massu and Layile were huge hits. She would later leave to join Anti Choc where she sung duets with Bozi Boziana.

Song Video

Translation of Massu

 

 

See the Translation of Layile here
Franco and TPOK Jazz Page
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Nike and IOC encourage corruption in Kenya sports

Nike, one of the world’s premier sporting goods companies, has a running contract with various Kenyan sports organizations, most notably NOCK (National Olympic Committee of Kenya) and AK (Athletics Kenya). The contract stipulates that Nike will pay bonuses depending on how many medals Kenya wins at various meets most notably the Olympics and the Commonwealth games.

As a result, from the Nike and NOCK contract running between 2013 through to 2020, NOCK is supposed to have received $87,500 (about Sh8.84 million) for the 2014 Glasgow Commonwealth Games and $140,000 (Sh14.14 million) for Rio Olympic Games performance.

Logically one would think that the bonus money should go to the athletes. They are the ones who spend endless hours training hard, running up and down hills for hundreds of kilometres each week, rehabbing injuries, performing wind-sprints, endless press-ups and other physically demanding exercises. When it comes to preparing for a race, athletics is the most demanding sport. The runners literally run themselves into the ground when training. So logically you would think that it is they who would pocket the bonus money right? Instead that bonus money in its entirety goes to NOCK members.

NOCK chairman Stephen arap Soi explained the situation recently.
“I think we can only take blame for not having explained on our contract with Nike about the performance benefits,” said Soi. “The bonuses are not for the athletes but NOCK .” said Soi.

The situation where athletes run themselves into the ground to prepare for the Olympics then see the officials pocket the money is rather comical yet unfortunate. Comical because Arap Soi and the rest do not do anything to help the athletes prepare for the games. In fact Arap Soi likely knows nothing about each athlete’s training program.

Yet Nike sees it fit to continue giving NOCK the bonuses instead of giving it directly to the athletes. It amounts to a bribe from Nike to NOCK officials to enable Nike to continue being the kit sponsor for the Kenyan contingent.

Nike also gives NOCK uniforms, shoes and training equipment worth Ksh 126 million each year since 2013. Very little of that makes it to the runners it is meant for. Most of it is sold by NOCK officials on the black market. Some of it ends up with the relatives of NOCK officials as the case during the Olympics when Kipchoge Keino’s daughter in law posed on twitter with said uniforms while the athletes in Rio were complaining of not having enough uniforms and shoes to train with.

The IOC (International Olympic Organization) is perhaps the worst culprit when it comes to encouraging corruption. They are fully aware of the corrupt activities that happen within their affiliates. But they will not prevent it. And worse still when a government tries to take action to remedy the situation, they will quickly come to the defence of their affiliates and threaten the country with a ban.

Protesters expressing their disdain for IOC and their penchant for protecting corrupt officials


Protesters expressing their disdain for IOC and their penchant for protecting corrupt officials

 

Kenyan running legend, Kipchoge Keino is always quick to remind the Kenyan government of the sanctions that would befall the country from the IOC should any action be taken against corrupt officials.

“(The) IOC are waiting for me to be put in (jail) and, when they put me in, Kenya will be banned. We will not take part in the next Olympics,” threatened Keino.

Eliud Kipchoge’s training program

Eliud Kipchoge, the gold medalist at the 2016 Olympic marathon, makes it look very easy when he runs over 42 km. In fact he makes it so easy which might explain why Arap Soi and others have no compunction about stealing bonuses that should be going to athletes.

Here is Kipchoge’s weekly training program:

210 km runs every week at high altitude (8000 feet above sea level)
13 hard three-minute moderate sprints with one minute steady between each day
A 20-mile run at a shade more than five minutes per mile up and down hills

Note that Kipchoge’s daily training starts as early as 5:30 am each morning while the pot bellied NOCK members are still fast asleep. And after all this hard work, Arap Soi et al would have you believe that is they and not the athletes who are literally training themselves into the ground each day.

 


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Before Nicholas Bett and Tumuti, there was Daniel Kimaiyo

Two Kenyan hurdlers, Boniface Mucheru Tumuti and Nicholas Bett have recently captured the imagination of athletics fans all over the world. Bett won the gold medal at the 2015 world athletics championships and in the process set a new Kenya record at 47.79. A year later, Tumuti won the silver record at the Rio Olympics and lowered the Kenya record to 47.78.

But Bett and Tumuti are not Kenya’s first set of world class hurdlers. Before them, there was Daniel Kimaiyo who was a dominant figure in the late 1970s. Kimaiyo was All Africa games champion in 1978. In that final, he beat Ugandan legend John Akii Bua who had been an Olympic gold medalist years earlier. And in 1979 he won the gold medal in the Africa Athletics championships.

But his greatest achievement came when he won the gold medal at the 1978 commonwealth games. In the process he beat Gary Pascoe of England who had been European and Commonwealth games champion in 1984

Race Video

Kimaiyo was also an excellent relay runner. He won gold medals with the Kenya 4 X 400m team at the 1978 All Africa games, 1978 Commonwealth games and 1979 Africa athletics championships. As such he left each of these tournaments with two gold medals. In the 1978 Commonwealth games final, he received the baton from Washington Njiri, and ran a stormer of a second leg, thus extending the lead that had been built by Njiri. Bill Koskei who ran the tthird leg, was impeded by a British runner and this fell back to third place before passing the baton to Joel Ngetich. It was a photo finish but The Brits were disqualified for impeding Kenya who were then awarded gold

Race Video

Other Kenyan 400m Hurdlers
Eric Keter was another excellent Kenyan hurdler. He won the gold medal at the 1991 All Africa games and 1993 African championships. He also reached the finals of the world athletics championships in 1991 and 1993.

Gideon Yego was a silver medalist at the 1990 Commonwealth games in the 400m hurldes. Three years earlier at the 1987 All Africa games, he won a silver medal in the 110 metres hurdles.

Shem Ochako, a product of Cardinal Otunga Mosocho, won a silver medal in the 400m hurdles at the 1987 All Africa games.

At the 1994 Commonwealth games, Gideon Biwott and Barnaba Kinyor won silver and bronze medals respectively, finishing behind Zambian legend Samuel Matete.

After this, Kenya went through a dry period as Athletics Kenya began a misguided policy to disregard the sprints and focus only on distance events. Luckily the policy seems to have been reversed as Kenyan sprinting is re-emerging from the doldrums.

In 2016, in addition to Bett and Tumuti, Kenya also has Haron Koech who is another up and coming hurdler. He on the bronze medal at the 2016 African athletics championships and reached the Olympic finals in 2016.

The 400m hurdles is very similar to the 800m in terms of its endurance requirements. Since Kenya has produced numerous world class 800m runners, it stands to reason that the country would also produce excellent 400m hurdlers. What impedes Kenyan hurdlers is the lack of proper technical guidance.

 


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