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Team Kenya deserves to be properly taken care of in Rio

By Muyoka Wafula | August 17th 2016 at 07:46:18 GMT +0300

One cannot understand why some so-called officials are out to block fellow Kenyans from making their lives successful.

Just the other day, we got reports that Kenyan athletes, who are some of the best in the world, have been experiencing a myriad of difficulties leading to low morale at their camp in  Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

From the look of things, the National Olympics Committee of Kenya (Nock) has been under fire for letting matters get out of hand.

The bungled travel arrangements and ill-treatment of Team Kenya coaches and Javelin Champion Julius Yego highlighted the age-old contempt with which Nock has handled Kenyan heroes.

We have been made to understand that trouble began at the High Performance Training Centres (HPTC) in Eldoret, where track and field athletes put up, when Sports Cabinet Secretary Hassan Wario visited the camp.

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That was when team captain Wesley Korir engaged the CS on the myriad of problems the athletes face at every major world championship.

Mr Korir, who is also the MP for Cherangany, prepared a memorandum from athletes who were not happy with certain arrangements for the Olympics team.

The captain had to tear it up in protest after he realised no support was forthcoming from the Ministry of Sports.

Apart from cash rewards pending from 2011, the MP also criticised the Anti-Doping Agency of Kenya (Adak).

In Brazil, Korir raised issues about kitting and poor handling of the team. According to him, the kits he received did not fit as the shorts were too big, adding that this was an issue all athletes were facing.

He promised that he would compel Nike to give them invoices and other documents so that they compare them with what they had received.

Least we forget, the team manager, Michael Rotich, was sent home after he was allegedly recorded promising to help athletes evade doping tests.

This doping exposure eroded our international pride in Kipchoge Keino, who was feted by the International Olympics Committee President Thomas Bach with a Laurel Award for his outstanding achievement in social engagements. He is the first ever athlete to receive an Olympics Laurel Award.

We should not forget that there were several complaints during the London Olympic Games in 2012 and now in Brazil, the same problems are emerging.

It is our hope that all will be done for the sake of our country. As we have been promised, let there be consequences for officers found culpable of mismanaging our national Olympics team as we cannot allow this to continue.

{Njuguna Kimani, Kiambu}

 

I welcome President Uhuru Kenyatta's demand of a report on the Rio fiasco.

Indeed, it's such a shame as we watched in dismay the golden girl go through embarrassing moments despite bringing glory to the country.

At one point, there was no one to serve the runner with water while her counterparts from other countries were ably served.

Furthermore, at the finishing point, there was no Kenyan entourage to hand her a Kenyan flag. It really took a while before getting the flag.

This is rather embarrassing. Athletics Kenya should put their house in order to avoid such incidents, better yet, team Kenya deserves honourable treatment since they have put our country on the map in the wake of recent bad publicity on the doping scandals.


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