Day 6 and Kenya's expected fairy tale is yet to be written. No surprises there so far. Well if our preparations and support given to the team is anything to go by, Kenyans should keep their medal expectations modest. A wise man once said, man cannot live on water alone...we paraphrase that to say...Kenyans cannot live on hope alone.
While it is good to be maintain positive vibes, it is also logical not to expect miracles when you have poor planning and execution. That our only representatives in Boxing, Benson Gicharu Njangiru and lady weightlifter Mercy Obiero were eliminated in the first round of their respective disciplines is no surprise.
The fingers point directly at the Amateur Boxing Association which runs Boxing in Kenya. They have been squabbling for the longest time costing the game its famed fortunes of the 1970s and 1980s. The officials have no semblance of major boxing fights locally both amateur and professional. The training facilities bequeathed to the Kenyan boxer were pathetic to say the least. Luckily London organizers did manage to give the boxer a trial at the Bristol camp.
Kenya Weightlifting Federation, well the sport has never been a major attraction save for the efforts of its chair one Pius Ochieng who represented the country both at Olympics (1984 & 1988) and Commonwealth level. It is funny that there are gyms in all major towns, but instead of engaging in professional level training and sport, most of the participants do it as a recreational thing ( others its for the good looks to attract members of the opposite sex...). Mercy's participation was courtesy of a wildcard by the International Weightlifting Federation after our other lifters got eliminated in the qualifying rounds for Africa. We admire the bravery that both Benson Gicharu and Mercy Obiero exhibited in their participation.
The one thing that's common in all this is the lack of preparedness by the respective sports bodies. Squabbles, mismanagement and poor planning is the name of the game. That the Sports Ministry has no been able to rein in on the bodies is not anything new. The National Olympic Committee -Kenya is left with no recourse than to take half-baked athletes to Games for them to be humiliated in the name of representing the country.
It's time we looked hard into what ails our sports federations and address those concerns. Anything else Kenya will remain a nondescript performer in major competitions across the world.
In Other News:
Our athletics coach of the Kenya Athletics team one Mr. Julius Kirwa made a very ambitious forecast of 12 Gold medals. It's good to prepare your charges mentally and get them to perform to their optimal, but it will remain that, a target, a dream. If Kenya does indeed win 12 Gold medals, we shall streak and run naked in Nairobi aka Flashmob-style when the team arrives back!