23 January 2013

Kenya: London Winners Feted

TEAM Kenya medallists at last year's London Olympics were feted by President Mwai Kibaki at a colourful ceremony held at State House, Nairobi yesterday.

World and Olympic 800m champion, David Rudisha, pocketed a Sh750,000 alongside Olympic 3,000m steeplechase champion, Ezekiel Kemboi. Kenya's gold medallists in the Paralympic Games--Abraham Tarbei(1,500m T46) and Samuel Mushai(1,500m T11) received a similar amount for their sterling efforts in London.

However, double world champion, Vivian Cheruiyot, walked away with the fastest cheque of Sh800,000 after bagging silver in the 5,000m and bronze in the 10,000m.

She received Sh500,000 for the 5,000m silver and Sh300,000 for 10,000m bronze. Other silver medal beneficiaries who received Sh500,000 were--Sally Kipyego (10,000m), Prisca Jeptoo (marathon) and Abel Kirui (men's marathon). Paralympians David Korir was also feted in the category after excelling (800m T13).

Besides Vivian, other bronze medallists were returned home Sh300,000 richer are Abel Mutai (3,000m SC), Thomas Longosiwa (5000m) and Wilson Kipsang (marathon). Paralympics had Abraham Tarbei (800m T46) and team captain Henry Kirwa (5,000m T12) as bronze medal beneficiaries.

In his speech, Kibaki congratulated the team and various sports federations present at the event for doing the country proud. "All of you have done a good job in keeping the Kenya flag flying high and I commend you for a job well done," he added.

Kibaki also called upon the various sports federations to set up youth academies that will identify and develop youths with sporting abilities.

He said sports has the potential to be a major employer in the country and contribute to the growth of the economy.

He urged the private sector to partner with the government to ensure adequate resources are available for the infrastructure. Kibaki made the remarks as he received the flag from the Kenya Olympic team at State House.

The Kenyan motocross team also returned its flag after participating in the East Africa championships in Uganda in August. Other teams present included the Kenya Sevens team, Kenya golf team, Special Olympics and Deaf athletics.

Kibaki also hailed the passing of the Sports Act which he said will revutionalise the sports sector in the country. "When fully implemented, the Sports Act will facilitate the proper management of our sports federations facilities and events," he added

Kibaki said the Sports Act will lay the foundation for youth sports development programmes and called on the ministry to embark on the implementation of the Sports Act.

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