Kenya at the Olympics Episode 6: A Fallow Period

The 1990s and early 2000s Olympics were a fallow Period for Team Kenya. For most of this period Kenya were without any team sports at the Summer games, and the boxers who did make it to the Olympics were a pale shadow of the the ones who contended with the best amateurs in the world in the 1970s…

Kenya at the Olympics Episode 4: A Lost Generation

The 1970s were a very political time in the world of sports, and even the otherwise sacrosanct Olympic games were not immune to the posturing and power games of the Cold War.

Coming into this decade, Kenya would have expected to go from strength to strength after a promising showing at the 1968 and 1976 Summer Olympics. It was not that be as the intrigues of resisting apartheid and imperialism meant that Kenya skipped the 1976 and 1980 Olympics, denying a slew of potential legends an opportunity to shine on the biggest stage in sports.

Kenya at the Olympics Episode 3: The Big Breakthrough

Kenya announced herself properly on the big stage of the Summer Olympics in Mexico in 1968, and followed it up with another excellent show at the 1972 games in Munich.

These Olympics went a long way in creating Kenya’s world renown I. Middle and Long distance track events…

Kenya at the Olympics Episode 2: The Early Years

Kenya first participated at the Summer olympics as a colony of the British Empire, in the 1956 and 1960 Olympics fielding squads that mostly comprised of British settlers, with the exception of the men’s hockey team, which was mostly Kenyans of Indian descent. This was reflective of the segeragation of access to sorting activities that was characteristics of colonial rule throughout what is now known as the third world.

Kenya being granted independence saw the remocval of such restrictions the gradual transformation of Kenya’s olympic teams from a handfu of amateurs, witha few token natives, to a the middle and long distance running powerhouse people know tpday, starting with the bronze medal of one Wislon Kiprugut at the 1964 Olypics

Athletics Kenya’s Olympics Trials enter final lap

The gruelling process of selecting the group of elite track and field athletes who will represent Kenya at the Tokyo Olympics comes to a close starting tomorrow. Athletics Kenya is conducting its three day national trials, in which track runners from 100m dash up to the 10,000 metres, as well as various field events, will compete for the right to fly Kenya’s flag at the Olympics in Tokyo next month.

It is a testament to the competitiveness of these national trials that, of Kenya’s four track gold medallists from the 2016 Olympics, only Faith Kipyegon (1500m women) and Conseslus Kipruto will even be at the trials to contest an opportunity to defend their titles. Conseslus Kipruto will be participating in the trials in spite of his ongoing legal troubles. A DNF at the most recent Diamond League race in Florence is also not a good omen. Defending 10,000m women’s Champion Vivian Cheruiyot will be contesting the marathon in Tokyo

The most notable absence from the start list is 800m World Record holder David Rudisha. The two time Olympic Champion has not raced actively since 2017, most recently citing a persistent hamstring problem. Instead the fastest man in the 800m men’s trial will be 2019 World Championships bronze medallist Ferguson Rotich.

Among the other Rio 2016 medallists in contention over the next three days, Hyvin Jepkemoi will contest the women’s steeplechase, 5000m Silver medallist Hellen Obiri, will lead a strong field in that race. Julius Yego will also begin his efforts to improve on his silver medal in Rio, at these trials. Among the fresh faces, there is World under 20 champion, Beatrice Chebet in the 5000m trials. in She has already impressed at the Diamond league in Doha, and will look o make a strong impression at the trials

As per Athletics Kenya, the top two finishers of the finals of each event, who have also met the official World Athletics standard within the qualifying period, and have also undertaken the mandatory Anti-doping workshop course set by Athletics kenya, will automatically get tickets to Tokyo. Athletics Kenya will then issue what amounts to wild card selections to various competitors across several events based on merit.

Eliud Kipchoge hoists the Kenya flag after winning the Rio Olympics marathon. (Source: Quartz Africa)

The only track and field event where Kenya’s representatives will not be selected at these trails are the men’s and women’s marathon. Kenya’s olympic representatives were selected in February. Defending champion, and world record holder Elid Kipchoge (2:01:39) will be joined by Lawrence Cherono (personal best 2:03:04) Amos Kipruto (2:03:30), and Vincent Kipchumba (2:05:09). The women’s team will be headlined by world record holder Brigid Kosgei (2:14:04), Peris Jepchirchir (2:17:16), Vivian Cheruiyot (2:18:31) and Ruth Chengetich (2:17:08)

Kenya Women Triumph in Kwibuka Tournament

The Women’s national Cricket Team won their 4th ever Kwibuka T20 Tournament after beating Namibia bu 7 wickets in a surprisingly one side final at the Gahanga International Cricket Stadium in Kigali Rwanda. Having opted to bat first, Namibia were routed for 69 all out with Sarah Wetoto the chief destroyer,with six wickets for 16 runs off 3.5 overs. Kenya then cruised to victory, with captain Margaret Ngoche hitting an unbeaten 37 runs from 30 deliveries.

Namibia won the toss and elected to bat, but were soon in trouble as Adri van de Merwe was run out early, and fellow opening batter was dismissed by Lavender Idambo to leave the score at thirteen for two after three overs. Yasmeen Khan and Kayleen Green attempted to rebuild the Namibia innings, but when Khan was dismissed for 11, with the score on 39, it began a collapse which left Namibia 47 for seven, halfway through their allocated overs.

Sarah Wetoto was the chief architect of this collapse, dismissing Namibia captain Irene van Zyl, Dietlind Foerster and Wilka Mwatile for single digit scores. She then swept through the tail, picking up the last three wickets to fall, and leaving kenya witha modest victory target of 70 runs.

Kenya lost opener Veronica Abuga early in the runchase, for nought, and fellow opener Queentor Abel was also dismissed cheaply, to give the Namibians a small glint of hope. Yet with Margaret Ngocahe and Sharon Juma scoring at quicker than a-run-a-ball (Margaret hit six four and a six in her innings), the run chase was concluded in just 11 overs, to give Kenya the victory and the trophy.

Kenya book final slot in Kwibuka Tournament

Kenya Women’s Cricket team have booked their spot in the final of the Kwibuka T20 toutnament, after cruising to a comfortable 52 runs victory over Rwanda this afternoon. Kenya were propelled to victory by a 38 runs capatains innings from Margaret Ngoche, and a ballanced bowling effort in which all 5 bowlers used got at least one wicket.

Kenya won the toss and elected to bat. They were in early trouble as, a mix up between the opening batsmen saw Veronica Abuga run out for three runs, by a direct hit from Gisele Ishimwe. This brought captain Margaret Ngoche to the crease and whole wickets were never far away, she together with Sharon Juma (11 runs off 15 balls), and Sarah Wetoto (20 runs off 15 deliveries) were able to keep Kenya ticking over at healthy rate with periodic boundaries.

Kenya’s innings stuttered slightly, when Margaret Ngoche holed out to mid wicket off the bowling off Imaculee Muhawenimana. Kenya ended up 117 for six, from their 20 overs, with Magueritte Vumiliya being the pick of the bowlers with two wickets for 15 runs. The Rwanda run chase never really go going, as Lavenda and Melvin Idambo, were in amongst the wickets early. Tight bowling and sharp fielding from the Kenyans (four Rwandan batters were run out) saw the Rwandese innings fizzle out without ever threatening the Kenya total.

Kenya will now defend their Kwibuka tournament trophy against a resurgent Namibia, who dispatched Nigeria by 91 runs in the earlier semifinal. Kenya earlier lost to the Namibians by 36 runs, and will be seeking revenge against the only unbeaten team in the tournament.

Kenya wrap up group Matches with win over Rwanda

Kenya wrapped up the group phase of the Kwibuka women’s T20 tournament. With a 25 runs win over Rwanda, the host of the tournament. Batting First, Kenya set a target of 129 for three wickets, on the back of twin scores 47 from their openers Queentor Abel and Veronica Abuga. Rwanda’s run chase never really gained momentum, as they closed their innings on 104 for the loss of seven wickets.

Kenya won the toss and for the first time in the tournament, elected to bat first. Openers Queentor Abel and Veronica Abuga set about building a total with aplomb. Both played scintillating lofted drives into the offside, and both, a little unlucky to miss out on boundaries from time to time due to the slow outfield. The two continued at a serene pace until they completed their century partnership from 16 overs.

Veronica Abuga lost her wicket, to Henriette Ishimwe, trying to push the scoring rate, as Kenya eventually reached 129 for three, setting Rwanda 130 as their winning target. The Rwanda run chase never really got any momentum, as timely wickets for Melvin Idambo and Queentor Abel, prevented any meaningful Rwandan batting partnerships from developing

Kenya will now face Rwanda again in the 2nd semifinal of the Kwibuka tournament. The winner will play the winner of the 1st semifinal between Namibia and the winner from the ongoing match between Botswana and Nigeria.