President Kibaki’s message to Team Kenya was made available to Kenyan media, a day after the Head of State missed an appointment with the team at the Olympic Village here, much to the disappointment of team members.
Titled ‘Message of encouragement to Team Kenya’, the message read: “As Team Kenya begins its quest of participation and for success at the London 2012 Games, I send my warmest greetings to you. As you know, this is the strongest team, ever assembled by Kenya.
“Consequently, expectations are high. To this end, we expect you to uphold and cherish our traditional reputation as an illustrious sporting nation at the London 2012 Olympics.
“From the 400m events, 800m, all the way to the marathon, swimming, boxing and weightlifting, we will be cheering you all the way to Victory.
“May the Olympic spirit of competition, fair play and goodwill abide by you, as you represent Kenya, our beloved country. Remember that you are our greatest Ambassadors and our biggest brand.
“Your performance on and off the field will not only project but also promote the positive image of Kenya in a big way.
“I wish you all every success and an eventful games enamelled with gold medal performances. May God Bless you and shower you with success.”
The message was read to Team Kenya by Sports Minister Dr Paul Otuoma.
Elsewhere adds Reuters, the Olympic play-to-lose badminton fiasco took a fresh twist when China’s Yu Yang quit the sport in anguish.
Eight women from China, South Korea and Indonesia were kicked out of the Games for playing to lose group games in order to secure easier knockout berths.
China’s state news agency Xinhua pulled no punches, blaming the debacle on head coach Li Yongbo’s “evil strategy”.
“Athletes should not get a paddling when it is head coach Li Yongbo’s evil strategy that is the major reason,” Xinhua said in a commentary on the affair.