Published On: Fri, Jul 14th, 2017


The Golden Girls of the 60s and 70s fame..(l-r)-Tecla Chemabwai, Jeni Wambui Kenyatta, Lydia Stevens flanked by Rose Tata-Muya- from the 90s fame.

The skies opened up soon after the opening speech by President Uhuru Kenyatta, as the Capital City spread its traditional warmth to usher in the junior World extravaganza.(topi lyambila writes).

Kudos go to the Local Organizing Committee who pulled an unprecedented move by inviting 190+ legendary athletes (strictly medalists) drawn from the Olympics, World Championships and the Commonwealth Games. This could have come courtesy of LOC  board members aligned to sport, namely CEO Mwangi Muthee and Billy Konchellah.

The glorious troopers being feted and pampered at the Government expense, included living legends like Nyantika Mayore of the 1950s fame, Wilson Kiprugut Chumo (1964) Naftal Bon, Amos Biwot and Ben Kogo, all from 1968 Mexico Olympics, with Hezekiah Nyamau and Charles Asati who appeared in 1968 and 1972. The latter being the memorable Munich 1972; 400m relay Gold winning quartet that was then beefed up by Robert Ouko and the late Julius Sang. 1972 veterans also counted in Nock President Kipchoge Keino and compatriot Ben Jipcho.

David Rudisha poses with his role models… Ben Kogo, Hezekiah Nyamau, Nyantika Mayore, Daniel Kiamaiyo and Wilson Kiprugut Chumo.

The Lady veterans were even more phenomenal bringing up; veterans from the 1960s, including 70s greats – Jeni Wambui Kenyatta (200m), Lydia Stevens (200m), Tecla Chemabwai (800m), Ruth Waithera (200m), Mary Wagaki (Marathon) and Tecla Loroupe.

Then there was the Watermen (Steeplechasers) – who could forget these lot from Amos Biwot (68) to Ezekiel Kemboi (2016).  Included was the lone-ranger Julius Korir; the man who kept the steeplechase legacy by winning the event at the 1984 LA Olympic Games, in what was to be the only Gold won by Kenya at that year’s  Olympiad.  World Champions Billy Konchellah (800m 87&91), Douglas Wakiihuri (Marathon -87), and Julius Kariuki (Steeplechase -Seoul 88) are pivotal at the games.

Going into Friday things are getting warmer despite the showers of Wednesday evening, with the athletics program hitting the finals, and following the Presidents order to waive the gate fees, we are expecting a roaring weekend at the Moi International Sports Centre Kasarani.

Late on Thursday Team Kenya was dealt a big blow following the disqualification of the Team Captain in the 800m Semi-Finals for a track infringement that involved lane use.


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