20 March 2019

Kenya: Calls for 'Rudisha Stadium' in Narok County

Calls have been made for the construction of a stadium and athletics academy in honour of pioneer Olympian Daniel Rudisha who was buried on Monday in Narok County.

Rudisha, 74, who died two weeks ago after falling ill, was buried at his home in Kilgoris at a ceremony attended by a galaxy of current and former Olympic and world track champions.

They included Kipchoge Keino, Billy Konchellah, Fatwell Kimaiyo, Moses Tanui, Ezekiel Kemboi and Milkah Chemos.

The late Rudisha was the father of current 800 metres world record holder and Olympic champion, David Rudisha.

The deceased's daughter Elizabeth Tanchu shed tears while narrating how her father was a pillar in the family saying he had left a big gap. "God was passing through his garden and decided to pick a rose flower and, surprisingly, it was my dad. It is well, it is well," she mourned.

The deceased was one of the Kenya's finest elite athletes having represented the country during the Commonwealth Games in 1964 in Kingston where he competed in the 440 yards race. Four years later, he was at the Olympics Games in Mexico alongside Hezekiah Nyamao, Charles Asati and the late Naftali Bon and placed the country firmly on the global athletics map when the quartet struck silver in the 4x400 metres relay.

FIRM FOUNDATION

In 1972, the firm foundation they had laid saw Asati, Nyamao, Robert Ouko and the late Julius Sang team up in Munich to graduate to a gold in the relay.

Upon retirement from athletics, Rudisha, the legend, joined teaching where he became an inspector of schools in charge of teachers' discipline.

Konchellah challenged the County Government of Narok to construct a stadium and talent academy and name them after the late Rudisha.

Konchellah also raised concern over the neglect of sportsmen and women in Kenya and petitioned the national government to give former Olympians a monthly stipend as a majority of them are "leading poor lives."

Narok Senator Ledama Ole Kina also pledged to push for the construction of the stadium in the region.

The late Rudisha left behind two widows and 20 children.

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