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Kick off: Kenya’s Olympics finally starts tomorrow

ATHLETICS By Bismarck Mutahi in Rio Di Janeiro | August 11th 2016
2016 Rio Olympics - Opening ceremony - Maracana - Rio de Janeiro, Brazil - 05/08/2016. Kenya's team arrives for the opening ceremony. REUTERS/Kai Pfaffenbach FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY. NOT FOR SALE FOR MARKETING OR ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS.

It’s  now six days since the Olympics officially started after the opening ceremony last Friday at the famous Maracana Stadium.

However, the medal table is not something to look at now given that Kenyans don’t feature anywhere in the top 40 positions.

At the moment, China are top of the standings with eight gold medals, three silver and six bronze while United States are second with six gold, eight silver and eight bronze.

Even Russia, which was supposedly banned from the Olympics have already bagged three gold medals to stand at position four just behind Australia who are third with four gold medals.

To make things even worse for Kenya, the rugby sevens team which was one of the favourites for gold after a good show in the International Rugby Board lost its first two matches.

The question for every Kenyan then is when will ‘our Olympics’ start? Many Kenyans believe that the Olympics for Team Kenya is about track action and they are not far from the truth considering that it is long since anybody outside the track won a gold medal at the Olympics.

But the local boxers Peter Mungai and Rayton Okwiri are also doing well here but they are yet to reach the medal bracket. The good news is that, Kenyans will not have to wait longer before they can at least have their beloved country’s name registered on the medal table.

Tomorrow, there will be two final events at the Olympic Stadium where there are high chances of Kenya getting medals, and more-so gold. World champion Vivian Cheruiyot, will lead Betsy Saina and Africa champion Alice Aprot in the chase for glory at 11:10am (5:10pm Kenyan time) in the 10,000m final before African champion Samuel Gathimba and Simon Wachira take to the road at 2:30pm (8:30pm Kenyan time) in the 20km walk.

“I am really impressed with the walking race team. I have a feeling that they will shock many at the Olympics and there is possibility of winning a medal,” coach John ‘warm-up’ Mwithiga told Feverpitch.

Olympic champion David Rudisha will also start the defence of his title in round one of the men 800m at 10:10am (4:10pm Kenyan time). Another race with Kenyan interest will be the 1,500m women where world silver medalist Faith Chepngetich Kipyego leads Kenya’s chase for glory.

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