Written by on August 9, 2021

Its 126 years since the start of Olympics games which were commonly referred to as Olympiad sports and named in accordance to the city where they will be held.

Since then, Kenya has been involved in the Olympic sporting activities for 65 years since 1956 when they first participated in the Olympics held in Melbourne, Victoria Australia from 22nd November to 8th December.

Despite them not participating in the Olympics held in Montreal, Quebec Canada and Moscow, Russia in 1976 and 1980 respectively, Kenya has bagged a total of 113 medals, of which 35 are Gold, 42 Silver and 36 are bronze medals.

The history came to repeat this year, in a cycle of 57 years since Kenya bagged the first Bronze medal and the first ever medal in 1964’s Tokyo, Japan Olympics.

Luckily this time Kenyan athletes came home with 10 medals from Tokyo2020 games held between 23 July to 8 August 2021, with Eliud Kipchoge crowning the Olympic games with a Gold medal win in a 42km marathon run.

Kenya has rapidly improved in Olympics performance since 1964, when they got only 1 medal; when a now retired Kenyan sprinter Wilson Chuma Kiprugut reached the final mark third in an 800 meters men’s race.

The Tokyo2020

Being represented by only 25 athletes then, Kenyans have stepped up their interest in the Olympics mostly in long races, with the Tokyo2020 games the country being represented by 85 athletes; with the  2018 and 2019 Chicago Marathons and the 2019 and 2020 London Marathons winner Brigid Kosgei, the 2017 5000 meters London marathon champion Hellen Obiri, 2016 IAAF World Half Marathon Championships gold medalist Peres Chepchirchir, world men’s marathon record holder Eliud Kipchoge, 100 metres national record breaker Ferdinand Omanyala Omurwa, and Emmanuel Kipkirui Korir leading the Kenyan squad to Tokyo, Japan.

Despite COVID19 challenges, in the 2020 games Kenyan athletes showed up a good fight with four of the 85 pocketing gold medals, four silver and two bronze.  

Kenya has tried to push beyond its limits to participate in different sports including Korean renowned martial arts Taekwondo, Boxing, Swimming, end to end duels Rugby sevens, volleyball, and athletics.

The performance

Kenya was ranked 19th after spraying themselves with 10 medals; most of them awarded after a stiff competition in field track competitions.

Emmanuel Korir celebrated victory in Men’s 800 metres after finishing ahead of fellow Kenyan Ferguson Rotich and Polish sprinter Patryk Dobek.

2016 Rio de Janeiro champion Faith Kipyegon proved her strength in 1500 metres women and held bragging rights in front of Great Britain’s Laura Muir and Holland’s Sifan Hassan.

Long distance runner and winner of IAAF World Half Marathon Championships 2016 gold medalist Peres Chepchirchir gave Kenya a third gold medal after motivating Brigid Kosgei to finish second, the motive which saw United States’ Molly Seidel be awarded a bronze at last.

A 36 year old World marathon record holder and the greatest marathoner of modern era Eliud Kipchoge filled the Kenyan gold basket with the fourth and last gold medal in the Tokyo2020 Olympics.

Kipchoge set the records straight with winning three consecutive marathons with that of 12 October 2019 special event involved, where he broke the record which he previous held after the 2018 Berlin Marathon.

After the 2019 marathon challenge in Vienna Austria commonly referred to as INEOS1:59 challenge, this time he led other athletes to the finishing point for 2:08:38 ahead of Abdi Nageeye and Bashir Abdi of Netherlands and Belgium respectively.

The 2019 World Championships 5000 metres record holder Hellen Obiri, middle distance runner Ferguson Rotich, 2020 London marathon winner Brigid Kosgei and 2019 Doha 1500 metres world athletics championships gold medalist Timothy Cheruiyot stood at the podium to be awarded a silver after finishing second in their respective races.

In the awarding ceremonies, Benjamin Kigen and Hyvin Kiyeng Chepkeomi were not left out, they smiled out of Tokyo after being awarded bronze in 3000 metres steeplechase.

The less unfortunate

In other field events, African and Commonwealth javelin record holder Julius Yego nicknamed “Mr. YouTube”, Kenyan high jumper Matthew Sagwe were not able to proceed to the finals.

Lest we forget Kenyan Boxers Nick Okoth, Elly Ajowi, Christine Ongare and Elizabeth Akinyi did not advance to the finals as they were eliminated in early group stages.

The same case applied to rugby sevens teams Shujaa and Malkia Strikers who were mercilessly sent home after they failed to pull up their socks in the rugby games thus finishing ranked  number 9 and 10 respectively.

The two teams saw Fiji sevens for men’s rugby and New Zealand sevens for women being crowned winners.

Kenya’s water-athletes Danilo Rosafio and Emily Muteti were washed out in both men and women 100m and 50m freestyle competitions respectively.

On matters concerning Kung Fu related martial arts Taekwondo blows, Faith Ogallo was knocked out by Serbian Milica Mandic in a free and fair duel.

Last but not least, the last hope of thriving was lost as the volleyball team too crowned the less unfortunate list by being humiliated in both the beach and indoor volleyball games.

Live to try again

After Kenya shone in the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympic games bagging 6 gold medals for the second time in field track races resulting to Kenyan national Anthem being the anthem in the worlds jingle bands, this time they tried to match the performance bringing home 10 medals (4 gold, 4 silver and 2 bronze) but the athletes, will live to fight yet another time.

Kenyan athletes are back to the camp for preparations, every one eager to see the renowned bridge Le Pont des Arts commonly referred to as the ‘Love Lock Bridge’ in Paris2024 Olympic games.

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