The Kenya track and field team will have one big disadvantage during the ongoing 16th IAAF World Athletics Championships in London. Essentially, the attention of most Kenyans will be on events back home where the General Election will be taking place.
But this will be no reason for the team to be complacent at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in Stratford, East London. At the back of many people’s mind will be the thought that Team Kenya can retain the IAAF title, even though the distraction from the events back home could weigh heavily on the minds of those competing.
Still, the IAAF competition in England should serve as a rallying call for Kenyans to stay united during this fractious election. Sports is a great unifier and even as Kenyans vote for candidates who stand for different values and ideologies, they must remember they are all members of one nation.
Therefore, fans must be prepared to cheer on Team Kenya which comprises a mixed bag of experienced and underexposed athletes. The team has plenty of talent, and in the absence of world 800m record holder David Rudisha, US-based university student Emmanuel Korir remains a sure bet for top spot. Kenyans will be counting on him and a host of others to shine the beacon on the Kenyan flag. Let us cheer on these gallant heroes.