Anger and frustration over the country's dismal show in London

By Omulo Okothin London

Did the Kenyan 1,500m team throw away the race on Tuesday evening? And are the poor performances we are witnessing here a red herring?

Is there something else that is not coming out yet, but is responsible for what we are seeing here?

These are the questions that emerged after the three Kenyans made a fool of themselves before some 75,000 athletics-mad Britons, who packed the Olympic Park Stadium here and millions of other global television audience on Tuesday night. It was ugly, obnoxious and hideous.

Asbel Kiprop, who was until then the Olympic champion, just jogged from start to finish, compounding an already messy situation of Team Kenya here and subjecting us to an embarrassing spectacle.

When I put to him the question directly, he fumbled with an answer, shifting his eyes from left to right without saying anything concrete. He stuck with the line of being injured in Nairobi. When the same question was put to him conversely, especially regarding the Algerian new Olympic champion, Taoufik Makhloufi, Kiprop said: “I don’t know. All I can say is I am very innocent.”

Silas Kiplagat, who knew his more illustrious compatriot was injured, was not in contention at all. He said he did not know what happened to him. How can you not know what happened to you in a race of this magnitude?

Nixon Chepseba, like a few other Kenyan athletes snobbishly walked past the media, without as much as acknowledging their presence.

Might the trio have been aware of something Kenyans did not know? Might they have deliberately run badly to avoid some kind of scrutiny? The two denied this, but a member of the team management, who sought anonymity, was due to raise these questions. He expects to share this with a higher authority to, if possible, commence investigations.

There is palpable anger, anguish, frustration and devastation on Kenyans here in London and certainly back at home, if messages we have received here are any measure.

A fan, Ezra Odhiambo wrote: “Our 1,500m men have flopped badly. I now see one of our poorest Olympics staring at us. I can only put my faith in David Rudisha. Any gold beyond that is a bonus”.

There are other compelling factors that could contribute to a dismal performance at this Olympics. A recent verbal altercation between AK and National Olympic Committee of Kenya as to whether the team was to train in Bristol or not gives a wide of range of possible causes of this poor performance.

NOCK officials don’t seem to work in unison, a situation which is prevalent here in London as was the case with Ezekiel Kemboi’s unexpected departure to Kenya. Nobody seemed to know who had changed the date of his ticket.

The media might have hyped the expectations of Kenyans, but it was based on the facts on the ground.

Kiprop, Kiplagat and Chepseba had run the fastest times of the season. A 3:28.88 for Kiprop in Monaco, 3:29 for Kiplagat and 3:30 for Chepseba.

An inquiry into the performance of the team needs to be done. It is not every day that Kenya flops like this at the Olympic Games.


 

Next Story
LATEST STORIES
Mourinho sent off as Lukaku fires United to a 1-0 win over Southampton

Romelu Lukaku fired Manchester United to a 1-0 win over Southampton as Jose Mourinho was sent to the stands at St Mary's on Saturday.

Morata hits hat-trick as Chelsea sink Stoke

Alvaro Morata bagged a classy hat-trick as Chelsea made short work of beating Stoke 4-0 to keep up the pressure on the Premier League leaders on Saturday.

Wayne Rooney left with blood pouring down his face against Bournemouth

Rooney was furious after an elbow from Bournemouth's Simon Francis left him prone on the turf with blood pouring from a gash just above his eye.

Tottenham striker Kane relief as Spurs hold off West Ham

In-form striker Harry Kane said Tottenham Hotspur breathed a sigh of relief after holding off West Ham's spirited fightback to claim a 3-2 win at the London Stadium on Saturday.

Ronaldo, Messi and Neymar on FIFA player of the year shortlist

Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi and Neymar have been nominated as finalists for the Best FIFA Men’s Player award, the sport’s governing body said on Friday.

Wolfsburg earn comeback draw at Bayern to snap losing run

VfL Wolfsburg battled back from two goals down to snatch a 2-2 draw at Bayern Munich on Friday thanks to Daniel Didavi’s late equaliser that ended their 19-match losing run in Munich.

More Stories
Keino should not think of heading National Olympic Committee of Kenya family again

Mid-last week, sports writers were stunned when a Twitter user posted that National Olympic Committee of Kenya (Nock) Deputy Treasurer Stephen Soi had been appointed the Chef de Mission for the Commonwealth Games to be held in Gold Coast, Australia, in April.

National Olympic Committee of Kenya and election board set to meet today

Members of the National Olympic Committee of Kenya (Nock) and the electoral board are scheduled to meet today to agree on the modalities of the September 29 elections.

Olympics: Cracks emerge at NOCK over debt and plans to sell building

Olympics: In efforts to stay afloat, national Olympics body takes bold step