I will completely ignore all the drama the whole world witnessed courtesy of #TeamKenya Olympics team. I will ignore it like it never happened. The whole thing about some participants and coaches being left behind, some leaving late, personal travel arrangements, officials joyriding the trip, some being deported… in fact I should stop already, have already went too far!
The whole thing is so heartbreaking!
Straight to the point, performance of the Kenya Olympics Team that went to Rio, Brazil was good. Actually it would have been better devoid of all the dramas.
In total, the team won 13 medals; 6 golds, 6 silvers and one bronze. In terms of ranking, we came a distant 15th. Am sorry to let you know it was not position two.
For those who think Kenya came second, we were position two in track and field events, behind USA, who had 13 golds in track and field, an equivalent of Kenya’s in the whole competition.
That is where we go wrong, track and field! To Kenya, track and field means middle and long distance races. Ministry of Sports should wake up to the reality that these competitions are not all about middle and long distance races!!
I look foward to a day when we shall start fielding participants in short races like 100m, long jumps, high jumps, tripple jumps, pole vault, short put, discus and such sports. The day we shall start taking javelin, boxing and swimming seriously.
Does it mean that Kenya lacks talented individuals who can compete in such sports? Maybe try and fail, try again and again fail, try a third time and win a bronze then in a couple of years we become worthy competitors to the likes USA, Britain, China and the rest. Just look at their medal tally: USA 121 medals with 46 golds, Britain 67 medals, 27 golds, Kenya 13 medals, 6 golds?? Come on!!
I know it might be unfair comparing Kenya with countries with better facilities, but atleast we can do better. A lot of officials managing our teams have been accussed of stealing time and again, competition after competitions. If this can stop, surely we can get some better training facilities for our athletes.
Out of the blues, Julius Yego proved to the world that Kenya can compete in Javelin- he is now in his retirement years but we have not yet seen efforts by sports management trying to tap talents in his line.
The Dunfords showed the world how Kenya can be good at swimming, Jason Dunford retired but again the the management was deep in slumber, no talents nutured infact some are being frustrusted- you remember Rebecca Kamau?
The Likes of Ryton Okwiri and co. trying to revive boxing in Kenya and reminding the doubting Thomases that the talent is still there.
All these talents need to be nurtured before we forget that they ever existed. If Kenya want to compete in competitions like Olympics, ‘all eggs should not be be kept in one basket-‘ middle and long distance races- and instead explore other opportunities. Actually other countries are learning out tricks in our birth-rite races, we saw Kenya miss in the 5,000m finals in Rio Olympics.
It feels more proud when we see Yego wins Silver in Olympics Javelin- in fact should have been gold were it not for the injury, than a Kenyan winning gold in 3,000m men steeplechase. It feels more proud when Okwiri eliminates a Russian Andrei Samkovoi in Men’s Welterweight (69kg) than Kenyans qualifiying in 1,500m ladies finals. It shows an effort of breaking the monotony, adding the flavor!
Something should be done, let us now experience a variety of medals, let us rethink our focus!