No pomp as downcast Kenyans return from London GamesAugust 16th, 2012 - 7:58 pm ICT by IANS
Nairobi, Aug 16 (IANS) The Kenyan Olympic contingent returned home from the London Games downcast over a less than expected performance that saw it finish in 28th position with just 11 medals.
But there was no David Rudisha, Vivian Cheruiyot or Sally Kipyego, who together with other elite runners opted to remain in Europe for the Diamond League meeting in Stockholmv on Friday, reports Xinhua.
However, Olympic marathon silver medallist Abel Kirui and Wilson Kipsang, the bronze medal winner, Timothy Kitum, 800m bronze medallist and World Indoor 800m champion Pamela Jelimo were received in the morning as they returned the flag to the country.
“It was a nice experience to compete at the Olympics. We did not do what many expected, but this is sports where we have competition and the best prepared will always emerge victorious,” said Jelimo, the team captain who wound up fourth in the 800m distance, here Wednesday.
Though Kenya’s performance at the Games since its debut in 1956 has been worse than what it got in London, it is the expectations and promise of the athletes that raised the hopes of many.
Head coach of athletics Julius Kirwa was categorical, poor planning by the management and lack of coordination was to blame.
“We did what we could on the training ground. The athletes were all focused, but the constant disturbance and interruption of camp by National Olympic Committee of Kenya (NOCK) officials was to blame.”
“They did not have a concrete plan. We were not given what we wanted to help in training. How do you expect good results and you have done little to help in the development and preparation of these athletes?” said Kirwa.
From a robust 14 medals haul in Beijing - six golds, four silvers and four bronzes - four years ago, Kenya were only good to pick two gold in 800m and 3,000m steeplechase. There were also four silver and six bronze medals.
However, NOCK chairman Kipchoge Keino asked for patience as a post-mortem examination on the games is conducted to know who is to blame for the dismal show.
“The youths of this country always come first. We need to help them. The team in London did well. The competition was tough, but generally we tried. We have 11 medals and we should learn to appreciate that when things do not go our way, we move to address it.”
“Now we need to sit down and draw a plan on how to revamp our participation. Olympics is beyond track and field and that is where we have not done well,” he said.
Apart from athletics team manger Joseph Kinyua, there was no official from Athletics Kenya to receive the team. This is after a clash of interest between AK and NOCK over the management and training programme of the team prior to the Olympics. This spilled over in London with each camp accusing the other of sabotage.
Kenya had its main hopes in track and field, where it had 51 athletes while boxing (two), weightlifting (one) and swimming (two) were the supplementary disciplines.
They all failed to make it to the finals of their respective categories, leaving just track and field as Kenya’s sole medal contributor in the Games.
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Tags: abel, bronze medal winner, bronze medallist, bronze medals, cheruiyot, concrete plan, elite runners, head coach, london games, nairobi, national olympic committee, nock, olympic marathon, pomp, post mortem, sally kipyego, silver medallist, steeplechase, team captain, xinhua