What you need to know:
- Team Kenya to 2022 Birmingham Commonwealth Games recognised
- County governor Bii says during gala night in Eldoret that country’s athletics stars need to be honoured in a very special way
The Uasin Gishu County government will put up an impressive edifice to house a hall of fame for athletics as a way of recognising them for bringing glory to the country time and again.
Speaking during the National Olympics Committee of Kenya (NOC-K) gala dinner for the Commonwealth Games team at Eka Hotel in Eldoret, on Wednesday night
Uasin Gishu County Governor Jonathan Bii said many world beating athletes’ hailed from the North Rift region and he wanted to create a Hall of Fame where visitors from around the world will tour and get the whole history of the Kenyan stars and their global conquest.
“Athletes have always made our country proud and if you walk all over, there is no special recognition for them and the government I am in right now has to treat sports in a special way.
“We are going to construct a Hall of Fame that will have pictures and history of all athletes since the days of our pioneer runners like Kipchoge Keino among others. This is also part of sports tourism which we want to promote in those counties that has good representation in the sport,” said Bii.
Speaking at the same function, NOC-K President Paul Tergat urged athletes to avoid use of banned substances that would ruin their career for good and also taint Kenya's image.
“We keep getting names of those failing doping tests and the list is growing. This is not the way to go and we should get married because we shall be pushed out of the international sports and athletes will be the first casualty,” said Tergat.
He added that NOC-K was working with other federations to make sure they select the best in their disciplines so that when Team Kenya goes to global events they bag more medals.
Sports Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohamed, who graced the occasion, said that Kenya was on the edge in terms of doping and she was delighted that Athletics Kenya was working with all relevant bodies with the aim of eventually having doping criminalised in the country.
She also said that the government together with NOC-K had put in place a robust plan that will ensure Kenyan athletes continue to excel internationally.
“It is now part of our sports policy that key components of an international event are operationalised to ensure seamless delivery of such events. Such components include the timely establishment of relevant Committees, structured work plans, and budgets, visa processing, funding, kitting, air tickets, insurance and allowances,” she said.
East African Breweries Limited marketing manager Jean Oketch said they were proud to be associated with Team Kenya and would continue supporting athletes.
Kenya collected 21 medals (six gold, five silver and 10 bronze) at the Birmingham Commonwealth Games, finishing 13th on the table. They were the third best-placed country from Africa.
Kenya was Africa's best performing nation in athletics, finishing third on the medals table. Australia topped the athletics standings with 24 medals -- 10 gold, 10 silver and four bronze.
Tecla Chemwabai was given a Honorary Award for being the first Kenyan woman athlete to compete at the Olympics. She also won 400m race at the 1973 All Africa Games becoming the first Kenyan to bag gold in athletics at this event.
A moment of silence was observed in memory of the late Sabina Chebichii who was the first Kenyan woman to win a medal at the Commonwealth Games, in 1974 where she bagged bronze in 800m.
Commonwealth Games 3,000m steeplechase champion Jackline Chepkoech received an outstanding award for running a new record of 9:15:19 while Ferdinand Omanyala was also honoured for bringing home the 100m gold medal for the first time in 60 years.