2014 and it is exactly 60 years since a Kenyan sports personality made it to any international sporting event! And this event was the Commonwealth Games in 1954 ( had previously been known as British Empire Games).
|Glasgow 2014 – image courtesy of glasgow.com|
With such rich heritage and a storied past, the 2014 edition ought to have been a done deal for Kenyan sport but alas! It is another skewed performance from a contingent of 169 athletes and officials. A misnomer of the Commonwealth Games is that fierce competitors, Ethiopia and other North African countries do not participate.
But even without these countries, Glasgow exposed the scope of Kenya’s famed athletes. Out of the 13 disciplines, only 3 managed to get to the podium.
- Julius Yego – Javelin Gold standard – first ever field event Gold
medal in major c’ships. Even without proper training facilities and technical support he keeps getting better;
|Julius Yego – Golden Throw – www.getty.com|
2. Eunice Sum – 800m – she’s the reigning world champ and she turned up for the another sterling performance;3. Caleb Ndiku – 5000m – coming of age, he was named 2010 SOYA
most promising athlete and showed why. Exit Ezekiel Kemboi too we have another performer…
David Rudisha – 800m Silver – World/Olympic
champ & WR holder, we expected nothing short of Gold, even with a poor season so far;
Jason Dunford – Swimming – he finally admitted
frustrations/lack of Kenya’s Swimming Federation support ( and no officials are sacked..???);
Kenya 7s team – after finishing 2nd
in the table standings in the preliminaries, they met their match in New Zealand who ended our first rugby Commonwealth medal chances
- Conrad Nkanata – US-based sprinter – finished 3rd
in his 200m heat, with proper training he can be a future sprinter;
- Benson Gicharu – Boxer – even with time running
out for his amateur boxing career, he is still punching it out at major sports
Kenya Sports (Mis)management:
The charade of Kenyan officials in managing the team
continued. First it was delayed allowances due to athletes. Second was the kit
issue with missing or delayed kit to Team Kenya. Third was late accreditation which meant
missed attendance by cyclist, David Kinjah among others. Fourth and it’s truly
out of personal frustration was lack of technical/financial support as well as
favouritism in team selection. These last were raised not just by
non-traditional disciplines but also swimmers such as Jason Dunford who may
have had his swansong representing the country in any sport.
|Golden Girls – 3000m s’chase Kenyan trio|
We have said this before and shall repeat it for the
umpteenth time. Kenya’s sport management needs to change RADICALLY! Why have more than 10 disciplines and only 2-3
have any chance of winning medals? Can more investment be made on a few of
these or if all disciplines are represented, get proper exposure to have
– what business goes on with kit which has been acquired for national duty? Why
should some official conveniently forget to order this in time? Other times
they issue it to non-participants or stock it in local shops. Sponsors should
also review such misdemeanor and cancel contracts for misallocated kits.
– we saw the embarrassment of African teams in World Cup. It did not even take
a month before our own officials replicated that same template. Why should
individual be charged with responsibility of managing team finances? In future
all participants should supply account details and monies sent direct to them
like regular pay.
- Size of
squad – how many officials are really needed to attend international events
even when their disciplines have no chance of winning a bronze medal?
Participation should be on how successful a sport is at regional, continental
or international duty.
details – for most disciplines Kenya has lost a semblance of international
standards. From boxing, swimming to even some athletics events, the edge of
advances in technical knowledge is lacking. Spotlight is on sports federations’
internal wrangles and lack of international best practice to compete at such