Thursday, 28 August 2008

Olympics- How they get paid

Still not letting go of the Olympics, it's common now for each of the country's to reward their athletes handsomely. Here in Kenya the Government made its commitment before the athletes left as a way of motivating them and at least holding onto them a little longer than has been the case in previous years. As a country, we have suffered one of the highest number of defectors with most going to the Arabian peninsula. One of our silver medallist, Bernard Lagat left for the US after fancing better chances and lucrative endorsement deals ( though he said it was borne out of the wish to live with his family .....)
Our Kenyan brothers and sisters will earn;
Gold- KShs. 1.75 million ( approx. US$ 25,300)
Silver- KShs. 1.25 million( approx.US$ 18,100)
Bronze- KShs. 0.58 million(approx US$ 8,405)
This is in addition to bonuses from major corporate organisations in the country. That's some loot to carry home !
Looking at other countries; India's run away with the highest prize money for a gold medal winner....some KShs. 30 m it is !. This comes against a backdrop of poor performances in the recent past in traditional sports like hockey -both men and women. The world's largest democracy also feels it can entice its huge population into sports not just team sports and traditional non-Olympic games such as cricket but also the main Olympic disciplines.

Russia is second on the list with the gold medallist taking home at least KShs. 10 million ( € 100,000 -approx US$ 147,894). This goes a long way to see why they will remain top performers for sometime. Again the country's had a dip in performance since the break-up of the USSR which almost always topped the standings switching places once in awhile with the US.
Read this for a further break-down.
The US in the meantime compares with the Kenyan government except that it the US Olympics Committee which gives these and also the endorsements and future earnings are almost too god to be true.
Here's an interesting bit on the current 200m men's bronze medallist who had rejected any endorsements before the Olympics for hope of a better deal after the Games. Walter Dix's qualifies. Well he almost scored one there !

Monday, 25 August 2008

Top 10 Moments of The Beijing Olympics

From Reuters a selection of the top 10 moments from the Beijing Olympics.

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Beyond 2008

I'd finally come to my element this weekend as our Kenyan athletes blazed the trail in Beijing finishing 15th position overall. The local papers have been all over each other trying to say this is our best performance ever. SEE: here and here & and finally this one .
That notwithstanding, I'll take a reality check on some of my thoughts;
1. Kenyan women won 2 of their first gold medals in the Olympics. That's a outstanding performance by all means. What was even more amazing was the modesty of the ladies winning the medals, with Jelimo -800m coming to her form only in the last 3 months while Jebet -1500m has been running in the shadows and not made such as major mark until now.
2. Kenya also won her first marathon title in the form of Samuel Wanjiru in the men's race. This gentleman was running in his 3rd major marathon. Superb performance !
3. Away from athletics, the 2 other disciplines which we almost came close were in the swimming by the Dunford brothers with Jason making it to the finals of the 100m butterfly race. Commendable performance too. Tae-kwon-do had 2 representatives 1 each for the men and women. Our lady fighter Milka Akinyi lost in the bronze medal contest to the Venezuelan Dalia Contreras. The gentleman didn't fare well though. Another new entrant was the sole representative in the rowing competition Mathew Lidaywa.
4.Some of the silver medals were gold medals in the making if we pushed a little harder....let me be plain with Ms. Ndereba in the women's marathon, E.Kipchoge in the 5000m to say but the least.
5. Coming to the worse parts, our 4 boxers did not get past the first rounds given that they were carrying the hopes of the nation. That's a dismal performance to say the least.
6. Kenyan officials were at it again. Starting with the qualifiers, the management made some mistakes which almost cost the country medals ...this is the case of one Ezekiel Kemboi who I said here should not have gone to Beijing. Some other errors included the sudden suspension of Muthoka who is said to have tested positive for drugs(unconfirmed reports), ticket bookings for athletes and officials, largesse that is usually the team management. And why oh why do we need such a huge number of officials ? Check this.

Overall the team showed we can achieve if we push ourselves and motivate our athletes well. I don't know but maybe the KShs. 1.75m from the Head of State may have had a hand in this. We must also thank corporate firms for promising more of these rewards to the participants.
Beyong 2008;
a) Kenya badly needs a sports policy. I've said this once I'll say it again. We need a platform from which to launch ourselves to the next level. This is a good launching pad and we can't afford to lose this.
b) We need to retain our best talent in the country. Our consolation is that none of the defecting athletes won any medals on these Games but that's just a matter of time. We can't afford to let go of our countrymen-if we're to find better ways of rewarding and maintaining them then that be it.
c) Kenya needs to invest more in sports- with most of our national grounds regaining their shape, we need to add more of these especially at provincial levels where almost all sports grounds were grabbed or mismanaged. This need not be done by the Government alone but in partnership with private firms or every concessioning.
d) Focus should move quickly to the 2010 World Cup and Africa Athletics championships along with the All-Africa Games 2011 and Olympics in 2012. Well laid out plans of action and parameters should be set to achieve goals at each of the said events. We can't afford to lay on our wreaths of glory only for us to falter.

Is it me or is there like a 20-year cycle going here ? Every 20 years, Kenya sets history in the Olympics.
1968: First gold medal -Naftali Temu KE- 3000m steeplechase- 3 gold overall for Kenya.
1988: First gold medal- African boxing- Robert Wangila Napunyi KE- welterweight- 5 gold overall for Kenya.
2008: First gold medal- Kenyan women- Pamela Jelimo KE-800m- 5 gold overall !

Saturday, 23 August 2008

Wilfred Bungei finally tastes Olympic glory

He is one of the senior athletes in the Kenya team and it's for this matter that he was selected as the team captain. He kept insisting that he was not in the team to just carry the flag. For so long I have thought he can't rise to the occasion. Wrong !

Now Mr. Bungei is GOLD for Kenya at the 800m taking the field appropriately on the final lap & showing us what he's made of.

There you go !

Kenyan Nancy Jebet Chelanga wins the 1500m - second gold from the ladies and 4th overall for Kenya.
Go Kenya GO !

Friday, 22 August 2008

Theme Song for 1984 Olympics- Reach Out !

Hey guys,
I thought I'd share with you one of my best theme songs for the Olympics. This is going retro(but goodie)....try it !

Can Bolt be 'Rogged'?

Bolt thumps his chest to show who's the best in 100m sprint at Beijing.

IOC chief Jacques Rogge seems not to be enjoying the fervour of one Usain Bolt who's exuberance at winning the sprints men's double brought down the house on Wednesday. Last night I was listening to one FM station and this was a point of discussion about how an athlete should celebrate his win in the Olympics.
Has the world gone that low to start writing rules of how one should conduct him or herself on the tracks ?
Do officials know what's going through one's head before they start and after winning a race ?
Imagine all the rush when one crosses the line ? You just can't hold back !
A few years back I used to wonder why short races and in particular sprint athletes never spoke or even shook hands before their race. I understand their testirone levels are so high that they usually scream and shout in the changing rooms. Some even kick and throw things while in there.
Coming to the track the athletes are so built with tension they can only exhale once done with the race.
So for the 'Lightning Bolt'to act as he has it's not a wonder and no one should tell him what to do.

Winning margin for Usain Bolt in the 200m race
Images courtesy of Reuters

There are other more important things that top officials can tackle like under-age athletes or over-commercialised attributes of sports people but not how one cheers. Rogge though a former Olympian should not be drawn into this.
I can't wait to watch the relays this weekend. Go Jamaica go !

Thursday, 21 August 2008

25 Biggest and Most Expensive Sports Contracts Ever Signed

Sports contracts over the years have gotten so extreme that they make even wealthy people envious. It wasn’t always like this, this era of contracts started in the late 80’s with Kirby Puckett being the first player to receive a $3 million dollar contract in 1989 according to the Sporting News. That might not seem like a lot, but for MLB, it was...

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Secondary Schools Sports Circles

Another victim of the Olympic Games is the Kenya Secondary Schools Sports which took place in the last 2 weeks in Machakos. In recent years, these games have attracted much attention not just from the fan base but also from media stations and corporate firms seeking to support youth and sport.
For a second year running, Barclays Bank and Brookside Milk were on hand to make the Games a success and though the venues were nothing to write home about;there was indeed some impressive showing by the lads down there. Going by the Kenya Football Federation's Technical Director's word, Mr.Naggi, there is a likelihood of at least 18 players being absorbed into the Premiership teams.
I'd not want to keep singing this song about youth and sport.
I have been vindicated by the going-ons at the Olympics:
-Usain Bolt 100m & 200m gold medallist-21 years,
-Pamela Jelimo 800m gold medallist-17 years,
-Michael Phelps multiple gold medallist-23 years
These are but a few of the people,I'd quickly mention to that effect. They've been there, done that and are the way into future of sport !
Let's look forward to next year's game and see what future this holds for Kenyan sports.

Kenya Cricket mellows

As our eyes keep fixed onto the Olympics,most sports disciplines have taken a back seat. This has been the case as Kenya participates in the ICC International Cup which features non-Test playing nations.
The Kenyan boys have been putting a good show and are currently on top of the standings. Their nemesis the Dutch have been relegated to a misery 5th place while Ireland and Namibia remain the threats for now.
It's refreshing to see that our sportsmen are motivated on winning in their outings despite most of us still stuck at the marvels at Beijing.
Get it boys !
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Tuesday, 19 August 2008

Hockey Hackneyed

Photo courtesy of
Over the weekend I took my forays to the City Park upon the invitation of one of our local players and enthusiast- (thanks Becks for an eye-opening afternoon) I had not been to the Park before and the aura didn’t disappoint. The turf as laid sometime in 2007-8 for Olympic qualifiers then was looking good.
Unlike most other Kenyan games, there’s quite a large following of the Asian and more so the Sikh community. In fact on this day, there was a Global Peace Federation/Sikh Community sponsored game featuring former Kenyan players who played in the Olympics and the current national team. The game was entertaining though short. Some Olympic memories were clearly flowing as some fans kept shouting how some outstanding players ought to be in Beijing playing for Africa.
Up until 1988, Kenya had represented Africa in 7 .times (the others being the 19 56 and 1960-as Britain’s colony, and‘64, ’68,’72, ’84 and finally ‘88 Games).
There was also a ladies game which was rather slow and full of stoppages-Sliders won it Impala 6-0. The other was a men’s game with one of the top sides Simba Union winning 2-0 against Karate Axiom.
Among some things Kenya Hockey Union needs to address;
- Safety procedures at the pitch- one lady player fainted and collapsed in a heap and there were no medics in sight. Being in the vicinity of a major health institution, surely you can’t lack a paramedic to sit through to be ready for such emergencies
- Lighting – if a game extends beyond 6.30 p.m. most likely it will be abandoned due to poor lighting.
- Fan area- the space might seem big for now but if the league was to improve there would be need to extend the space though room for such development seems scarce as enough flats are coming up around the area.
- Can the fixtures’ secretary please process the year’s calendar? Most teams are groping in the dark was to which are their next games or when and who they play.
- Safety of the parking-the area’s just too open and consideration can be made to secure the grounds. There’s also an unpleasant spot right near there which I guess the City Council ought to visit and repair.
- The sport badly requires some technical expertise from foreign coaches and players. This may enable our local players improve their game to be able to get back to the international stage.
- Sponsorship-corporate and local support wouldn’t hurt to motivate the teams play a better game and entice us to go their on a more regular basis.
I must say the changing rooms and lavatories are fairy clean compared to other national facilities. I guess some support from the locals has been forthcoming.
In my ongoing circuit to learn and understand as many of our local sports, I’ll frequent the place more not just for the sake of reporting but also supporting local growth. I’ll be truly grateful to see not just the gents’ team make it back to the international scene but also the ladies too.

Why don’t you join in the fun one of these weekends at the City Park hockey grounds?

Why I am not celebrating yet

Photo courtesy of Reuters

While my fellow countrymen cheered and looked on as our Kenyan athletes made it to the finish line to win Kenya 2 gold medals, I was not up there cheering. At least not just yet!
I have said previously that we have perfected the art of gifting mediocrity in Kenya. Don’t get me wrong here now. Jelimo Pamela truly deserved the gold she won at the Games breaking the junior record and becoming Kenya’s youngest gold medalist to date and first woman gold medalist. I’ll be repeating what other media services have regurgitated about the 3000m steeplechase.
I will not be cheering because;
1.In the history of the Olympics, we were taking one of the smallest teams ever- 54sportspeople with 37 athletics, 4 boxers, 2 swimmers, 2 martial artist (tae-kwon-ndo) and 1 rower. Back in 1972, we had not just athletics represented; we could afford range shooters, hockey, and boxers; the diversity serving us well in medal chances.
2. Secondly, 40 years ago we won 3 gold medals; 20 years ago 5 and right now I don’t think we will honestly win another gold medal. We have been surpassed by Ethiopia, Russia, Morocco, and even the US is busy chasing us especially in the longer distance races such as 800m,1500m to name but a few.
3.Even in the celebrated athletics we can only sing about the 3000m steeplechase race which is also looking vulnerable-look at what the Frenchman did. 1972, our young men led by Charles Asati, Hezekiel Nyamau, Robert Ouko anchored by Julius Sang won Kenya a 4x400m gold beating even fancied countries like USA, Germany and then USSR. Can we seriously say we have such chances now with the shorter races looking too strong for our athletes?
I’ll not dwell on the solutions for these since we always have a report done by the officials as led by the Chef de Missio (sic)…. I’ll enjoy what is left of the Games. With the likes of new heros such as Usain Bolt and other new champions, the Games do not disappoint. I’m also not very patriotic right now not when we don’t put ourselves higher than what we are now.

Friday, 15 August 2008

Jason Dunford almost does it

Image courtesy of Getty Images.

This gentleman was bound to make us watch an unlikely sport and surely we're following the swimming contest at Beijing with heavy anticipation. After seeing our boxers bundled out with lack of finesse, the Dunford brothers have not let us down.
Starting Wednesday, the young men have come close yet not good enough.
By close of the 6th day though,Jason qualified for the Finals of the 100m butterfly. This being one of the toughest strokes in swimming and the competition from superior teams from US, Australia, New Zealand and one Serbian (who lowered Dunford's record yesterday during the heats); thus far he deserves a mention on this blog.
The whole country will rally around him tomorrow as we look for a medal outside the usual circles of athletics.
Fly brother, fly !

Belated Appreciation - Adam Magazine

Past image of Adam Magazine -Courtesy Tujuane Nairobi for EAM
It's been late coming but I'm humbled to mention this. A local magazine which has gained a foothold in the publications noted this blog in their monthly issue (May issue).
In the blogs to note section, yours truly was among the 3 blogs. Much appreciation for the comments and the points mentioned have been noted and work's in progress. As for the magazine, they have managed to capture many Kenyans of between 21-40 and funny enough it's more in demand from ladies than the targeted gentlemen. All the same, I hope they stay true to their cause and be a leading light in media publications from the region.
Kudos Oyunga Pala and the rest of the crew !

Is the Kenyan media serious ?

Over the last 7 days,I have found it the Olympics a hard act to follow. With the usually mediocre national station getting feeds from China, that ought to have been a fallback plan. Again our other media stations even sent their journalists to cover the Games.
What has been coming from Beijing is far from satisfactory. Last night I stumbled onto one station's sports news & yes they did start with Olympic news, getting all excited about Kenya's Jason Dunford short-lived record breaking swim (he'd recorded a 51.14 secs Olympic time only for it to be lowered by Milorad Cavic from Serbia a few minutes later).
Then the coverage went through some headlines which I didn't find relevant or at least relating to most sports fans from around this part of the world. The station did not even give a run of which events to expect medals or at least look out for.
Today the athletics programme starts where Kenya's real chance of winning any gold medals are. If you can afford it make time to your local watering hole or where they've satellite TV,at least Supersport has not disappointed.
As for our local media stations, barbs and more barbs (as Tom Mshindi used to say)!

Monday, 11 August 2008

KBC's handiwork

Over the weekend I didn't get to sit around as intended to watch the Olympics as they rolled on to action. However I managed to sneak views here and there while on my line of duty.
Thanks for the national broadcaster for being able to air the events from Beijing ( though the Chinese national broadcaster has made this possible). But please spare us some of the regurgitation taking place while they are screening. Why do they have to repeat some comments like a myriad times ? When the signal goes off (as is prone to do once in awhile), these guys put in some ridiculous fillers to cover the void.
What has suprised me though is the number of sponsors, does the marketing department in KBC want us to believe they can not do better than this ?

By the way, who said that since we are from Africa all we want to see is African teams' coverage ? Some inspired Kenyan youth may want to participate in the gymnastics,squash or other disciplines.

Friday, 8 August 2008

All eyes on Beijing-China

What a Bird's Nest ! Home to Roost ?

For the next 2 weeks the world will be fixated on the sporting spectacle that is the Olympics. Beijing is going to dazzle us with all the razzmatazz and cultural melting pot that is China.
Critics have made their name talking about the human rights issues, the pollution levels in the heavily industrialised nature of the cities,racial discrimination and the low profile given to disasters plaguing the country in the recent months.
Some have even branded the Chinese officials as playing closely to the Germany of 1936 when the regime had sort of a 'coming out party' to the rest of the world. All these and more will be bandied around as the world comes to the most populace country in the world.
They may not be all that perfect and true not much is known about Chinese cultural practices and other ideals until very recently. What's true is that any country with such resources and muscle needs to have a go at hosting the Games thus exposing not just their good and intended nature but also the backstreets which most Governments never like showing.
As for those who can afford it, land there in one piece and get to enjoy the marvels. As for the rest of us, TV time's just go up by another couple of hours
(note the time difference between Beijing is 5 hours i.e. if it's 12 noon in Kenya then it's 5 p.m in Beijing)

Thursday, 7 August 2008

Are our Kenyan officials up to the task ?

Watching our preparations before the team left for Beijing, I felt jittery with the current officials accompanying the team.
First the officials issued a notice to athletes advising them to show up at the training camps a month before the start of the Games, which was well and good only that few athletes agreed to remain there as most followed the Grand Prix circuit, chasing the $$$. Some analysts say they were building up to the Games by this but I don't agree with that.
Second instance came during a visit to State House where the team was kept waiting for almost 4 hours for the Head of State. OK, the Old Man on the hill may not be an early riser but it shows how poor we are in time management. They could say that he was trying to work on the reward schemes ....hmmmm?
Third has been the haphazard way the fringe members are handled. What do I mean here ? Look at what they had decided to drop the physiotherapist ? Were it not for the loud complaints from the athletics coach Mr. Julius Kirwa and the team captain Wilfred Bungei, the physio would be toiling with us here. Did you hear what the Chef de Missio said asked about a boxer's condition ?
What criteria do they use to choose these guys ? Who vets the competencies of our managerial team? Where do their reports end up once they come back from assignment ? Should their pay and allowances be pegged on the performance of the team ?
Otherwise we're just paying expensive accomodation and shopping trips for some of these guys !

IRB in the house

This weekend Kenyan rugby will host IRB officials who are on a familiarisation trip. They will meet the Kenyan rugby officials,attend various games including to Kenya Cup ties over the weekend as they look out for rugby opportunities in the country.
It will also present Kenyan rugby officials an opportunity to put forward their challenges and possibilities of hosting future rugby events such as a leg of the IRB Sevens tour.
I'd hope the Kenyan boys can put their best 'hands' (or it it feet?) forward to be able to sell the country as a destination for hard-crunching,exciting and 'beer-drenched' rugby in the Green City in the Sun !

Kenya's looking good

For the last few years Kenya has not had many major sports events to host. But last year marked a major turning point when Kenya hosted the World Cross-Country Championships (dubbed the x-country coming home).
Next month Kenya will host the Junior volleyball championships next month. 2010 the country will host another athletics event this time the continental championships. If all goes well, the country will benefit immensely from the 2010 World Cup which will take place in South Africa.
I don't think there is a better time than this to invest in sports infrastructure. Not only will it pay back soon but also create good feeder grounds for sports disciplines like athletics,football,rugby and other disciplines.
Our sports associations need to be more aggressive in securing host status to get different partners to commit to these processes.

Tuesday, 5 August 2008

Kenyan Olympic Hopes

I'll join the savvy train and be a cheerleader as we look out for our Kenyan sportsmen taking part in the Beijing Olympics. This year we have some interesting personnel up there and are represented in 4 other disciplines besides the usual athletics- swimming,boxing,rowing and tae-kwo-ndo.
The realist in me tells me the athletics might gather a couple of medals with 3 gold at the best and a silver trail. As for the other disciplines, I can almost bet we'll record respectable times and participation but thank-you-very-much no medals.
As competition rises and the stakes ever so high, the sports power-houses of US, China and Australia will scorch the trails as they seek to outdo each other.
As African reps, Kenya will have to play 2nd fiddle to South Africa, Nigeria and to some extent Ethiopia.
The added incentive of our Pres. of KShs. 750,000-for gold medals;KShs.500,000 and KShs.250,000 for bronze medals won't be enough to pull up our performances. But then history ought to serve us well.
1968:Kenya wins her first gold and goes on to win 2 others making it Africa's best performer;
1988: Kenya records her best record so far winning 5 gold medals with a 1st African gold in boxing.
2008:......-what's gonna be ?

Beijing will have 9 new events for the first time in the Olympics;
Athletics:3000 m steeplechase women
Swimming: Marathon events of 10km
to name but a few.

Hockey sticks: Up in arms

India's Visit to Kenya -1947
One of Kenya's favourite sport back in the day when the Asian and Sikh communities were actively involved in sport has clearly 'lost wood'. Looking at what happened to the youth team which ought to be Kenya's future at Cairo, we need redemption !
This was one of the sport disciplines which Kenya got representation first in the 1956 Olympics and in 5 other occasions the last one being the 1988 Seoul Olympics. This is after an excellent performance crowning Kenya with gold at the All-Africa Games held in Nairobi in 1987.
Back to our current times ! The Kenyan hockey team had been invited to take part in the African under-21 championships. As such a team was hastily put up for both ladies and men and the officials managed to secure air tickets to Cairo.
What they hadn't communicated was that the players would get a measly KShs.250(approx.$3.50) per day allowance (including training days which they had not received anything). The young players were outraged and decided to boycott the matches much to the chagrin of the officials and thus embarrassing them in front of their hosts.
This led to a quick flight back and the first agenda of the officials was to quickly suspend the perceived ring-leaders leading to 2-year suspensions of 10 players.
Much will be said by the officials about the youth behaving badly, but as has been the trend in other sports, I'm even suprised they boarded the plane to Cairo.
We have not learnt to plan and invest in our sports people and when push comes to shove we're always running to the Government for this and that.
What happened will be a stain in hockey's future as not many will be willing to be sacrificial lambs by ruthless and rudderless officials.
Where are the Akatsas , Otambos and Matharus of yesteryears ?
Kenyan hockey needs their hands !

Friday, 1 August 2008

1st Kenyan Corporate Games

What with the chilly weather taking its toll in most parts of the country, Kenya’s corporate world will experience the first of its kind Kenyan Corporate Games. This is more of a fun event than any record-breaking or competitive games for international representation. The concept though is noble since it will get most of the employees out of their formal structures to an open day of various events with the prospects of meeting guys from departments you may have never chatted with. For 500 /= ( and register with your respective company-a team of numbers to be confirmed)report to the Utalii Grounds and KCB Sports Grounds.
I’ll try making the event but with a busy August month for sports I will not guarantee attendance or participation!

Busy Sporting August

The coming month will see one of the busiest sporting months’ this year both locally and internationally. Main highlight is the Olympics but along with that is the Maralal Camel Derby, start of the English Football Premier League along with other European Leagues, US Open-Tennis, various Grand Prix for Formula One, Grand Finale of the Sprite Elevate Streetball tournament in Kenyan basketball to list but a few. Stay alive with all the sporting action around!

Olympic Rivalries

Since the Olympic Games started, world audiences have been treated to some of the best (and worst) rivalries which continue to the upcoming Games in Beijing. Let’s sample some and look at possible ones in the upcoming Games:
From 1936-2004:
1936 Berlin: the long jump finals:- featuring Carl Ludwig 'Luz' Long, local hero and fancied favorite by the 3rd Reich of one Adolf Hitler was up against the odds and 3 gold-medal winner thus far Jesse Owens. He had had an unfair start with his warm-up jump being adjudged as the first jump. With the ensuing rivalry between him and Long, Owens made the last jump of 26 feet 5 ½ inches, proved his point and went on to salute the stars and strips even though they hadn’t yet recognized him as a hero (what with segregation in the States!)
2.1956 Melbourne: - Hungary vs Russia in the water polo Final. The game played in water was a fearsome one for those who watched it. The competitiveness was so bad that one player got his eye injured and had to leave the pool amidst protests and riots. Once order was restored the Hungarians won the game by 4-0 winning the match which came to be known as ‘Blood in the Water’ match.
3.1960:- Hockey Men’s Final: Pakistan (predominantly Muslim) a bitter rival of its pre-dominantly Hindu neighbour India-broke the latter’s dominance in the event. Pakistan had conceded only one goal to Germany in the quarter-finals and was thus on its way to changing history.. India had already won 6 previous hockey golds in the Summer Olympics.
4.1972 Munich: - The finals of the basketball teams men game: - USA vs. USSR. US shooting guard/small forward Doug Collins made 2 free throws with 3 secs. left in the game clock though the horn had blown as time up. The clock was rewound and reflected the seconds for play to resume but again the Russians didn’t make any meaningful play. An appeal from a top FIBA official saw the clock rewound for a second time and this time the Soviets were able to make a quick lay-up basket to lead 51-50. US officials appealed but lost on a 2-3 vote from the Communist bloc countries. To this day, US players have refused to pick their silver medals they ‘won’.
5.1984 Los Angeles: 1500m men’s finals- the event attracted a number of African athletes who were beginning to make an impact in the athletics world but given the boycotts of 76 & 80 this would be the Europeans gig. Steve Ovett of Britain was the favourite over countryman Sebastien ‘Seb’ Coe to win it. Seb raced Ovett and East German Straub to win the race and went on to become one of England’s most noted athlete (he helped England win the 2012 bid to host the Games in London).
6.1988 Seoul: 100m- Ben Johnson seems on top of his game after winning the World Athletics in Rome in 1987, he manages to sprint to another record time of previously fastest time of 9.79 secs managing to raise his hands and glance over his competition. But 2 days later he‘s tested positive for banned anabolic steroids thus Carl Lewis gets the medal though he’s bitter for not winning it more orderly.
7.1992 Barcelona: - 10000m women’s race-the South African’s having been restored after almost 30 years in the cold have Elena Meyer challenging Ethiopian track queen Delartu Tulu and the battle is down to the last stretch with Tulu winning and then holding hands in solidarity with Meyer as they did the lap of honour together. True Olympic spirit!
8.1996 Atlanta :- 4x100m relay : This being a sprint event history was on America’s side and what better way to cap the Games by giving back-to-back medal winner Michael Johnson a 3rd gold. Donovan Bailey –Canadian on the other hand had different ideas. This would be the best time to break tradition and what better place than the Olympics. The Canadians cleanly beat the Americans getting Bailey to prove his 100m win was not just a fluke.
9.2000 Sydney: Who can dare forget the 10,000m final between Kenya’s Paul Tergat and Ethiopia’s Haile Gebreselassie? Though friends off the track, these two athletes have always been competitive especially when both race in one race. This was no exception and the race had a sprint finish with Tergat trying to get past the Ethiopian for gold only for Gebreselassie to use his reserve energies to scorch the Sydney track. This rivalry has now moved to the marathon circles with the 2 world best times being set, yes you guessed it H. Gebreselassie first and Tergat a close second !
10.2004 Athens: - 1500m men- Moroccan Hisham el Guerrouj had extra reserves for the race having secured the 5000m gold. One Bernard Lagat (formerly Kenyan, now a naturalized US athlete) had hoped to beat his jinx in the race with the Moroccan from the World Athletics Games in 2003. This was the right stage but then again Hisham was bound for retirement and what better way to celebrate by winning his 2nd gold (only gold medalllist for Morocco in the 2004 Games).

Rivalries Expected:
• 100m men: Jamaica's Asafa Powell vs. Usain Bolt (or is it Tyson Gay of the US?),
• 800m ladies: Kenyans 2-lap ladies; Janeth Jepkosgei vs. Pamela Jelimo,
• 1500m men: Kenyan-born US athlete Bernard Lagat vs. Kenyan Augustine Choge,
• 110m hurdles men: China's Lui Xiang vs. Cuba's Dayron Robles,
• Football women: USA vs Brazil, women's soccer
• Basketball: USA vs. Argentina
• Swimming: Australian Michael Phelps vs. the rest of the world-
• Gymnastics: USA vs China, women's gymnastics

Protégé Basketball Camps

Hot on the heels of the Sprite Elevate Street-ball tournament, Protégé Basketball presents Seed Basketball Camps. This is also as the holidays for school-going lads’ starts. It will also blend in well with the Finals of the Elevate Street-ball games expected to be played end of August 2008.
This is a fresh idea and comes right in time when parents are grappling with what to do with their kids during the holidays. IN this age of Internet, drugs, among other distractions it augurs well with most people to have the lads doing something constructive especially with their bodies.
These camps will be conducted by former National Colleges of America Association (NCAA) Division I players as well as pro-League players. The venue will be the Braeburn High School Gymnasium off Gitanga Road towards Kawangware (pick a no.46 bus or matatu). I surely hope the KBF officials will be watching and learning a thing or two.
Let your kid be the protégé they hope to be!