Omanyala, Wanjira Kenya's flag-bearers as games start
What you need to know:
- Kenya will be represented by 127 sportsmen and women at the Birmingham Games that will have a largest number of competitors, 5,054, drawn from 72 nations.
- The competitors will fight for medals in 20 disciplines and eight para sports will feature, making it the biggest programme ever for Commonwealth Games.
Africa 100 metres champion Ferdinand Omanyala and women’s wheelchair basketballer Carolina Wanjira will be Kenya’s flag bearers during the opening ceremony of the 22nd Commonwealth Games on Thursday at Alexander Stadium, Birmingham, England.
Kenya will be represented by 127 sportsmen and women at the Birmingham Games that will have a largest number of competitors, 5,054, drawn from 72 nations.
The competitors will fight for medals in 20 disciplines and eight para sports will feature, making it the biggest programme ever for Commonwealth Games.
Prince Charles will represent Queen Elizabeth II during the opening ceremony that will start at 10am Kenyan time.
The 3x3 basketball, cricket T20 and mixed synchronised diving are the sports that will feature for the first time at the Commonwealth Games that will see 280 different medal events.
Kenya has entered both the men and women’s teams in the 3x3 basketball.
Kenya’s best performance at the Games came during the 2010 Delhi, India and 2014 Glasgow, Scotland Games.
In Delhi, the country hauled 32 medals; 12 gold, 11 silver and nine bronze with all the medals coming from athletics except three; one gold in swimming and two bronze in boxing.
The golden moments came from legendary swimmer Jason Dunford, who claimed victory in the men's 50m butterfly.
The late Joshua Ndere Makonjio collected bronze in light heavyweight with Nicholas Okoth going for a similar medal in bantamweight.
Kenya hauled 25 medals; 10 gold, 10 silver and five bronze from Glasgow with all the medals coming from athletics except two bronze medals by Benson Gicharu (boxing) and Joyce Wambui Njuguna (weightlifting).
However, Kenya’s performance dipped at the previous 2018 Gold Coast Games, Australia where they collected 17 medals; four gold, seven silver and six bronze.
All the medals came from athletics once again except Christine Ongare's history bronze in boxing.
Competition starts on Friday with boxing and rugby sevens among the events on card with Kenyan interest.
Women's hockey, triathlon, men and women's 3x3 basketball, table tennis, swimming, cycling and para cycling also start on Friday.
Kenya made its debut at then the British Empire and Commonwealth Games in 1954 Vancouver Games in Canada.
Musembi Mbathi and Kipkorir Boit Kibet are some of the pioneers, having competed in the men's 440 yards with Boit reaching the semi-finals.
Kiptalam Keter competed in men's 880 yards with Nyandika Maiyoro settling fourth in men's 3 miles as Lazaro Chepkwony came seventh in men’s 6 miles.
Korigo Barno fielded in men's 120 yards hurdles and 440 yards hurdles.
Kenya also participated in the 1958 Cardiff British Empire and Commonwealth Games in Wales failing to get medals.
It’s after the country gained its independence that its athletes started winning medals beginning with the 1962 British Empire and Commonwealth Games.
Kenya collected five medals; two gold, two silver and a bronze to finish ninth in the medal standings.
Seraphino Antao handed Kenya its maiden gold medals with victories in 100 yards and 200m yards respectively as Kimaru Songok claimed silver in 400 yards hurdles.
Legendary Ali Juma went for silver in boxing with another legend Philip Waruinge settling for bronze.