David Rudisha shines for #TeamKenya with New World Record na Viatu vinang’ara na KIWI!!!

One of Kenya’s biggest athletics hopefuls finally took
to the track at exactly 2200hours and what a spectacle it was. Leading from the
front, David Rudisha proved why he’s the reigning world champion and the world
record holder to boot.
He managed to beat a host of athletes from other
countries including Abubakar Kaki – from Sudan and local athletes Timothy Kitum
to take gold in a world record time of 1 min 40:91secs. This is truly one of the most
outstanding performances by any of the athletics Olympians not just from Kenya
but for Africa too.
David Rudisha proves once again why Kenya is still one
of the leading lights in matters athletics and what it means to be a champion.
Keeping it neat and tight at the front and always looking to be in charge of
the race. Of course this is in keeping all major titles from African to World
and now Olympic titles, strapped in the boots.
Talking of boots, we know how David Rudisha has managed
to stay in tip-top condition and become not just a winning athlete but also a
role model to his fellow countrymen. When it comes to staying crisp and sharp,
we saw what he can do during the IAAF World Athlete of the Year Awards held in Monaco
in 2010…(as well the Kenyan Sportsman of the Year) If the cameras had zoomed in closer and further down his lithe self,
they would have captured his smart designer shoes of course shining courtesy of
Kiwi.  
Over the years, Kiwi shoe products have become synonymous
with the way one stands out.
David Rudisha – Image courtesy of  www.letsrun.com

It is often said that most ladies will pick out a
man from the way his shoes look like. What better way for a man to get his
shine on by picking on any of the Kiwi brands.  
With a wide range of polish solutions from the
evergreen shoe polish, shoe wax which is meant to enhance the look of your
valued shoes and leather products. Whether it’s your weekend boots, or the
handy leather lap-top bag and belts as well as other leather accessories, Kiwi
products are sure to make them last longer and look sharper. And even for your
running and fitness sneakers and rubbers, there is Kiwi cream to make sure you
look good when practicing those hamstrings and stretching the muscles.
Going back to the Olympics, we have seen many stars
coming out to win their country medals. This is not only a personal victory for
each athlete; it is also victory for their countries too. These victories serve
as a major inspiration to the upcoming and young athletes. We have all seen how
meticulous those in the disciplined forces take to shining their shoes. It
reflects a lot not just the person’s personality but how good their character
and potent they may possess in serving their nations. David Rudisha is one such
person representing the Kenya Police.
Rudisha and his ilk will surely inspire the next group
of athletes to compete in future Olympic competitions. This will be with their way
of showing not just the young ones but also the rest of us what it takes to be
a champion. Their track exploits go beyond the races into their way of life.
Serving as role models in every other sphere is truly the making of a champion.
And for champions there is always the need to have
trusted brands grooming your every road to success. Kiwi is the way to shine
and David Rudisha shines for #TeamKenya!

Olympics 2012 – Kenya busy missing Gold, what gives?

This weekend marked the start of the athletics programme in the ongoing London 2012 Olympic Games. From initial forecasts and given Kenya’s pedigree in the middle and long distance, it was finally a chance for Kenyans to cheer on #TeamKenya.
But things went awry from that first day when Ethiopia’s Tirunesh Dibaba took her Gold in the 10,000m for the 3rd consecutive Olympics after winning in Athens in 2004 and Beijing in 2008 ( remember she missed the World Athletics championships in Daegu at the World Athletics c’ships in 2011). Two of the Kenyan athletes did land the Silver and Bronze medals.
Second day and things went from bad to worse when the form book was suddenly changed with Great Britain’s Mo Farah won the 10,000m followed by US’s Galen Rupp while Ethiopia’s emerging talent in Bekele’s younger brother, Tariku was placed third.
Sunday and while we expected double gold, it was only a single one courtesy of Ezekiel Kemboi in the 3000m steeplechase ( and Bronze too from Mutai). The women marathon trio could only manage a Silver after running a tactical race but still wearing out before the final 5km.

What has been happening in London has been disappointing but not too shocking for those with a keener eye for matters athletics.
The team selection was first questioned especially for the 5,000m and 10,000m -men and women- when Athletics Kenya decided to take the trials for these races to Prefontaine – Oregon (USA). While our athltes were busy shuttling flights abroad, foreign athletes including Team GB’s Mo Farah, Paula Radcliffe and US’ Galen Rupp were pitching camp in the Rift Valley high altitude training facilities in Iten.

Next was the controversy in the marathon teams selection. It was decided that the selection would be done after the London marathon which coincidentally ought to have been the ideal case of knowing the route. But alas the closeness of the race seemed to have cost Kenya the title due to fatigue, burn-out or a combination of other factors. The men’s team had to leave out one of the earlier selected athletes {The men’s marathon is the last event of the Games and though #TeamKenya fans would love to see Kenyan athletes come through…the jury’s still out there}

Then just a few weeks to the Games, Ezekiel Kemboi was moving between the courts and the cop stations to answer to alleged charges of rape. Though he did manage to get off to go to London, there is that small matter that he will have to answer to once back to Kenya. Though AK & NOC-K officials may not want to admit it, this must have been of concern within the camp. Kemboi is one of the biggest attractions on the Kenyan track, thanks to his antics on winning any of his major races. The accusations and media glare was almost reminiscent of what cost Kenya a world-class marathoner in the late Samuel Wanjiru.

Going into the 4th and 5th days in the athletics programme where Kenya’s only medal hopes, the performance in Beijing 2008 now seems like a bar too high to achieve. Or shall the Rudishas, Jelimos, Kiprops, Cheruiyots do otherwise? Pray you do!

ION
Since Kenya seems to have struck the endorsement deal with Nike, wonder why none of our athletes seem to feature in their campaigns for London 2012 or preceding the Games. We have seen others like Visa International, P&G to name but a few. Maybe it’s time that deal is revisited. And anyway, we’re never told how much its worth. A little disclosure from NOC-K and AK maybe?

Olympics 2012 – No Fairy Tale yet…

Day 6 and Kenya’s expected fairy tale is yet to be written. No surprises there so far. Well if our preparations and support given to the team is anything to go by, Kenyans should keep their medal expectations modest. A wise man once said, man cannot live on water alone…we paraphrase that to say…Kenyans cannot live on hope alone.
While it is good to be maintain positive vibes, it is also logical not to expect miracles when you have poor planning and execution. That our only representatives in Boxing, Benson Gicharu Njangiru and lady weightlifter Mercy Obiero were eliminated in the first round of their respective disciplines is no surprise.
The fingers point directly at the Amateur Boxing Association which runs Boxing in Kenya. They have been squabbling for the longest time costing the game its famed fortunes of the 1970s and 1980s. The officials have no semblance of major boxing fights locally both amateur and professional. The training facilities bequeathed to the Kenyan boxer were pathetic to say the least. Luckily London organizers did manage to give the boxer a trial at the Bristol camp.
Kenya Weightlifting Federation, well the sport has never been a major attraction save for the efforts of its chair one Pius Ochieng who represented the country both at Olympics (1984 & 1988) and Commonwealth level. It is funny that there are gyms in all major towns, but instead of engaging in professional level training and sport, most of the participants do it as a recreational thing ( others its for the good looks to attract members of the opposite sex…). Mercy’s participation was courtesy of a wildcard by the International Weightlifting Federation after our other lifters got eliminated in the qualifying rounds for Africa. We admire the bravery that both Benson Gicharu and Mercy Obiero exhibited in their participation.


The one thing that’s common in all this is the lack of preparedness by the respective sports bodies. Squabbles, mismanagement and poor planning is the name of the game. That the Sports Ministry has no been able to rein in on the bodies is not anything new. The National Olympic Committee -Kenya is left with no recourse than to take half-baked athletes to Games for them to be humiliated in the name of representing the country.
It’s time we looked hard into what ails our sports federations and address those concerns. Anything else Kenya will remain a nondescript performer in major competitions across the world.

In Other News:
Our athletics coach of the Kenya Athletics team one Mr. Julius Kirwa made a very ambitious forecast of 12 Gold medals. It’s good to prepare your charges mentally and get them to perform to their optimal, but it will remain that, a target, a dream. If Kenya does indeed win 12 Gold medals, we shall streak and run naked in Nairobi aka Flashmob-style when the team arrives back!

Olympics 2012 – Kenya, This is IT!

The 4 year cycle is over & this time London it is! The Olympic Games – multiple-sport biggest sporting extravaganza. And Kenya is firmly in there to claim its place. For those who read this blog, we’ll give a few of our own thoughts on what we think of Kenya’s hopes at these Games;

Flying the Kenyan Flag

Athletics:
Our (over)-reliance on this means once again, it is and remains the biggest prospects for medals. There are quite a number of world-beaters, from world champions to world record holders as well as reigning Olympic medallists.
Predictions:
800m:
Men (Gold)  Women (Gold)

1500m:
Men (Gold and Silver) Women (Silver)

3000m steeplechase:
Men ( Gold, Silver & Bronze); Women ( Gold and Bronze)

5000m:
Men ( Bronze); Women ( Silver)

10000m
Men (Silver); Women ( Gold)

Marathon:
Men (Gold and Bronze); Women ( Gold, Silver)

4 X 400m (Men) – The one-lap runners will most likely make to the Final (if they don’t drop the baton or run outside their lane). But the traditional teams of US, Caribbean and even Team GB will still be too strong to overcome.

Javelin: It will be a honourable mention to Julius Yego but he can’t beat the Eastern Europeans and Scandinavian throwers. They’re way ahead technically and physically. 

Boxing:
No offence to our boxers but the best we can manage is a Bronze by Benson Gicharu. This is because the game is quite technical nowadays and the scoring system is quite something. The preparations were not up to standard but this Kenyan cop can pack a punch all the way to the semis.

Swimming:
Jason Dunford will once again get to the Finals of the 100m butterfly on the back of some great outings in the World Swimming c’ships and Africa c’ships & All-Africa Games. David Dunford might also make it through the heats but as for the Finals, still anyone’s guess…

Weighlifting:
This is another sport Kenya has never quite excelled at Olympic Games level and this year it won’t be any different. The techniques, lack of proper training as well as physical challenges are some of the reasons why.

Total Medal Haul Forecast:
 8 Gold 5 Silver & 4 Bronze
Put on a good show Kenyans and we shall be rooting for you to beat our medal forecast and bring more home. We shall be proud as always for your sterling show! Go #TeamKenya!

Olympics 2012 – Kenyan Sports Officials’ Gravy Train…

Media reports over the weekend reported the apprehension and confusion that is going into Kenya’s preparations for the London Olympics which start in a little over 10 days from today. After Kenya’s trials were completed in June, it was all systems go for preparations for a respectable if not historic medal harvest.
But right from the word go, we have been hearing of grumbling from Kenyan athletes and officials arriving too early under the pretext of preparations.
The training camp at Bristol has come under scrutiny with some complaints of the facilities needing some sprucing up ( for the swimmers) and also the lack of altitude that would have an effect for the athletes in the athletics discipline.
That officials would start arriving a full 3 weeks to the opening of the Games smacks of irresponsibility and excesses in their part to earn unwarranted allowances. We know that Kenya’s marketing team in Brand Kenya had already made plans to set up shop in London ( the venue is branded as “Kenya House”). This is to try market the country as a favourable destination for not just the usual tourism circuits but also for investment opportunities e.g in infrastructure and ICT, but also sports tourism among many others.
Reliable sources inform us of how Government and parastatal officials have been fighting to be included in the trip not so much because of their working briefs but instead to ‘enjoy the trappings of a fully-sponsored outing by the Government’ – indulge in shopping sprees, enjoy access to some of the venues and also for some of them to treat their girlfriends and boyfriends (yes even the married ones) to sights and sounds of the UK!
That officials would be so carefree to leave the athletes to their own destiny is quite deplorable to say the least. We also saw the way one of the athletes who had been named in the 4 x 400m men’s relay team was treated and sent back home just a few days after reporting to camp.
Which begs these questions;

  • Why would Kenyan sports authorities sign up for training facilities without vetting them properly?
  • Why should the bulk of the athletes report to camp a whole month into the Games even when the officials know that conditions at the training camps are not ideal?
  • Who vets the number of officials who leave the country to make the necessary preparations for the athletes and other parties relating the Olympic travelling team?
  • How many sports associations are represented at the Games? And should they be there in the first place if their sports men and women are NOT represented? 
  • Year in year out, we’re treated to the charades of Kenyan sports and Government officials who have no business being at major sporting events being part of the contingent. Bwana Waziri, can you tell us who caters for their expenses and if so why waste taxpayers monies ‘chasing dreams’? {NB: The All-Africa Games in Maputo – Mozambique had similar claims and the findings from Parliament are yet to come out. We can almost guarantee a similar story come September…}
  • Why do our sports officials sacrifice the sports people at the altar of greed and selfish ego-trips?
If Kenya does not realise its full potent in winning the maximum number of gold medals, at least we have an inkling of where to apportion the blame. 

Olympics 2012 – INFOGRAPHIC – Kenya’s Rich Heritage at the Olympics


Infographic
– Kenya at the Summer (& Winter) Olympics 1956-2012





























Quick Note:
* 2008 The 6th Gold medal was awarded to Asbel Kiprop in 1500m men after the initial winner Bahrain’s Rashid Ramzi was disqualified for doping.


Many thanks to Judy – Smurtnotes, Richard of SportsKenya for thinking up & exchanging ideas on its possibility and most of all Nzilani – the designer who put up with all the critique and data to get this Infographic done. Enjoy!  


DISCLAIMER:
You can share this post/infographic with your friends, fans and followers BUT in case of offline publishing, kindly get in touch with us on info@smurtnotes.com OR sportskenya@gmail.com 





Olympics 2012 – Lest our Sports Personalities forget…

Early last week, Kenyans were shocked to learn about the alleged stabbing of a woman by world & Olympic champ Ezekiel Kemboi. This was a few days of easily qualifying for the 2012 London Olympics starting in a little under 21 days.

Podium Finish

For many it was not the best news that we would be listening to hoping not just attend but also defend its place as one of Africa’s leading nations in terms of medal hauls.
Experts, lawyers and other ‘public opinion experts’ are still weighing the news of what actually transpired last night. And though we may not be the best-placed authorities in this case, we do hope that Ezekiel Kemboi is cleared and does get to compete for gold in London.
This case evokes of the memories of the sad end-tale of Samuel Wanjiru who was found dead at his residence after an alleged scuffle with his wife and another female companion.

What these two cases show us is the fact that athletes and sports personalities not just here in Kenya but across the world are human just like the rest of us. What distinguishes them from the rest of the population is their achievements which do count for much more than they would think or believe. It is in that light that they should bear the burden that society puts unto them and try within their confines to be the moral barometers of the populi. We have seen many come and be disgraced in sport for their actions in and off the court, pitch or tracks – be it from cheating, petty crimes to the more serious ones of assault, or even death as we have seen.
Lest they forget, the spotlight shines on all of us BUT is shines more brightly once we raise you on the medals’ pedestal!

Let’s not dim it any time too soon…

Kenya’s Olympic Trials – Some ‘Mini Olympics’

Its interesting that the races going on this weekend are referred to as trials, should be more like qualifiers…maybe we’re unfazed by the English language… Speaking of the English, just over a month to go, Kenya shall be sending her contingent to London for the 2012 Summer Olympics. Athletics has been and remains Kenya’s mainstay for the gold haunt.

With a total of 78 medals won in all Olympic Games Kenya has participated in, Athletics has won us, 69 – 28 Gold 27 Silver and 19 Bronze.

These Games will be no exception and this weekend, some of the races that Kenya expects to harvest medals in shall know its representatives. They are;

  • 800m men
  • 1500m men and women
  • 3000m steeplechase (men)
  • 5000m men and women
The qualifiers in these races will join others who have already qualified by virtue of attaining the times and being named by Athletics Kenya and include 4 x 400m men’s team, javelin (men), marathon teams (both men and women) and the 10000m men and women.This is to hoping only the best emerge and no controversial decisions crop up from the complaints of wild card selections et al. 
We do wish the all athletes, the best in their respective races and let’s pull one better than we did in Beijing 2008. The potent you have from last year’s World Athletics Championships means you’re true world-beaters. Our heritage with our former colonial masters ought to be good enough inspiration. 
Do it!

UPDATE:
Saturday marked the culmination of one of the hotly contested Olympic tickets in recent history. No major upsets were realised and most of the favourites registered good times and easily booked tickets. Preview of the some of those who made the final list of Olympic finalists is as follows;



Men:
800mDavid Rudisha, Timothy Kitum, Job Kinyor
1500m – Asbel Kiprop, Nixon Chepseba, Silas Kiplagat
5000m – Isaiah Kiplangat, Edwin Soi, Thomas Longosiwa
10000m – Wilson Kiprop, Moses Masai, Bitan Karoki
Marathon – Wilson Kipsang, Abel Kirui, Emmanuel Mutai
400m hurdles – Vincent Koskei
3000m steeplechase – Brimin Kipruto, Abel Mutai, Ezekiel Kemboi
4 X 400m – David Rudisha, Mark Mutai, Vincent Mumo, Vincent Koskei, Anderson Mureta

Women:
800m – Pamela Jelimo, Janeth Jepkosgei, Winnie Chebet
1500m – Hellen Obiri, Eunice Sum, Faith Chepngetich
5000m – Vivian Cheruiyot, Sally Kipyego, Viola Kibiwott
10000m – Vivian Cheruiyot, Sally Kipyego, Linet Chepkirui
Marathon – Mary Keitany, Edna Kiplagat, Priscah Jeptoo
3000m steeplechase – Lydia Rotich, Mercy Njoroge, Milcah Chemos

Rudisha & Bolt for a 4×400 relay showdown at London Olympics ???

In what could be one of the biggest highlights of the 2012 London Olympic Games, plans maybe underway for a showdown between the fastest man on Earth in the 100m & 200m races against the longer version of the 800m.

David Rudisha

Though nothing is confirmed yet, David Rudisha could most likely be included in anchoring the 4 x 400m men’s relay and be up against Jamaica’s Usain Bolt who’s main specialities are the 100m , 200m and 4 x 100m races. It could be far-fetched as none of the two is a one-lap specialist but seeing the potential that it would bring in terms of viewership, prestige and national pride in winning an additional medal not just for oneself but for their country, anything is possible.
First off though will be making the cut for their respective national teams in the Olympic Games pre-trials starting in June. Then comes the tricky part of maintaining tip-top fitness conditions amidst the Grand Prix races and finally winning in their respective specialities.

TV rights holders and sponsors of these athletes would be rubbing their hands with glee at the prospects of this showdown. Let’s see what comes of it.

Point to Note:
Remember Kenya won gold in the 4 x 400 m men’s relay in the Munich Games in 1972. Can they repeat this feat by adding this world beater?