The Star (Nairobi)

Kenya: Nyamao Applauds Call to Honour Veterans

A pioneer athlete from Kisii County yesterday welcomed plans by the ministry of sports to set up a special task force to support former sporting heroes.

Hezekiah Nyamao like Nyantika Maiyoro and Charles Asati who brought fame and glory to Kenya after clinching a gold medal for Kenya in the 4x400m relay, said the government does not seem to have recognised the role they played.

On Tuesday this week, Sports minister Ababu Namwamba said a task force will be set up to work on how best to honour all former sporting champions who placed Kenya on the world sporting map.

Namwamba blamed state organs for ignoring former sports heroes in their programmes saying these heroes and heroines needed to be accorded the respect they deserved by being taken care of.

Nyamao ran that famous 4X400m relay race with Asati, Robert Ouko and the late Julius Sang. Nyamao says their win in 1972 was not by accident.

"It was out of determination and hard work. We even posted a better time than that of the Lee Evans driven US relay team of the 1968 Olympic Games in Mexico. It is the dream of every athlete to win an Olympic gold medal. So we feel disappointed that having achieved this, the government has failed to honour us," he added. Nyamao asked the minister to speed up the formation of the task force so that they could benefit while they were still alive.

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