Connect with us


Early marriages,Injuries and Doping :Main challenges facing Kenyan junior athletes



For many years, Kenya’s junior athletes have conquered the world not only by winning medals, but also sometimes shattering records.

After such a promising, start these youngsters were poised to smoothly transit to senior competitions but they soon faded away leaving their fans with many questions than answers.

While others struggle to transit into senior ranks, some opt for earlier marriage thus jeopardizing their promising careers with others forced into early retirement due to injuries and a section of runners opting for shortcuts and in the end sanctioned for doping.

But it’s also debatable whether success at junior level is a prerequisite success in elite running, however according to analysis, it shows good percentages of runners at elite level were medalists during their juniors years.

Kipyegon Bett was one who was tipped to be the next David Rudisha.

At start he seemed to fulfill the promise and had lofty dreams of stepping in senior level having won silver medal at the World Youth Championships in 2015 in Cali, Colombia. He also won gold at the World Under-20 Championships over the two-lap race in Bydgoszcz, Poland.

After good show at the junior level the runner from Kericho was now seen as the next person to bring medals for Kenya at the Olympics and World Championships only to be slapped with a four-year doping ban in 2018 by the Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU) after banned erythropoietin (EPO) was found in his blood samples.

For female athletes, most of their story is all about starting a family early which has made it difficult to make a comeback after early promise.

Roseline Chepng’etich established herself among the world’s best young steeplechasers. While still a student at Keringet Winners Girls High School, Chepng’etich won gold in 2,000m at the 2013 World Youth Championships. She also clinched another gold at the 2014 Youth Olympics and silver at the 2015 World Junior Championship.

Chepng’etich made her senior debut with selection to the 2015 World Championships in China where she finished 15th and after that disappeared from scene with reports of getting married something we could not authoritatively confirm as efforts to reach her were futile.

At a young age, Chemweno had previously exhibited the characteristics of an athlete headed for stardom in cross country, winning slots in the national team. She won her first senior 8km cross country title in Kisii in 2009, clocking 28:12 and followed this with top places in Mt Elgon and Eldoret cross country meetings. However after that Chemweno went off the radar and nobody is able to exactly tell what happened to the once budding youngster.

Naomi Misoi, a 800m athlete who represented Kenya in the 1998 World Junior Championships also faded after the championships. She later got married in her home county of Nandi after completing her studies in Sing’ore Girls High School in Elgeyo Marakwet.

Some athletes who joined the military also went off the radar. For example, former 800m junior star Vincent Malakwen’s career nose-dived after joining the army.

But what could be the reason why most of these youngsters cannot make a comeback?

Continue Reading
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Wazito fc Boss to pay sacked players over Sh6 million




The Fifa Dispute Resolution Chamber has ordered Football Kenya Federation Premier League (FKFPL) side Wazito FC to pay five players it sacked over six million shillings cumulative within 45 days.

Ugandan midfielder Mansoor Safi Agu, DR Congo international Piscas Muhindo, Ghanaian Paul Acquah, Liberian Augustine Otu and Togolese defender Issofou Bourhana, through their lawyer Felix Majani, stated the club to the world football governing body seeking compensation for unfair dismissal. Of the five, only Mansoor Safi was dismissed by the club at the beginning of the year while the rest were victims of the recent massive restructuring in the team.

Their cases were presented directly to the Fifa Dispute Resolution Chamber in mid-August and the department has now expedited the matter.

In a previous interview, Wazito CEO Dennis Gicheru admitted he had received demand letters for compensation from some of the sacked players and their representatives as well communication on the same issue from Fifa. He, however, unapologetically said he was not keen on responding to the demand letters.

If Wazito fails to pay the monies within 45 days, the club will face a transfer ban over three windows. The ban will only be lifted after the amounts are paid in full.

The ruling by Fifa could set precedence as far as the speed at which cases regarding the termination of contracts, unfair dismissal of players and the ramifications of the same in the top league in Kenya are concerned.

Earlier this year, the worldwide representative organization of professional footballers, FIFPRO publicly expressed dissatisfaction with how the Football Kenya Federation (FKF) was handling such cases, with a lot of such claims remaining unsettled since 2017.

Continue Reading


Harambee Stars exclude four top-tier players




Harambee Stars will miss the services of the  influential quartet of Victor Wanyama, Arnold Origi, Ayub Timbe and Michael Olunga when they face Zambia in the Africa Cup of Nations build-up match against Zambia on Friday.

The four were omitted yesterday when Football Kenya Federation released a final squad for the match set to be staged at the Moi Stadium, Kasarani behind closed doors. “The four will not be available for the match,” said FKF’S communications chief Ken Okaka.

The experienced players were part of the 34-man provisional squad released last week by coach Francis Kimanzi who will use the match to gauge his readiness for the November qualifier double against Comoros.

Origi, who plies his trade with Finland side HIFK Fotboll, was supposed to make his comeback to the team after five years in the cold. In the absence of the revered custodian, Kimanzi will pick the starter from the Zambian based Ian Otieno and national U-23  and Ulinzi Stars  goalkeeper Timothy Odhiambo.

With Wanyama unavailable, all eyes will be on Kimanzi’s choice for the captaincy. Prior to his lengthy hiatus from the team, the former Maritzburg centre back Brian Mandela who made it to the team despite being unattached served as Wanyama’s deputy alongside Musa Mohammed.

Former Gor Mahia defender Joash Onyango skippered the team during last year’s Cecafa Senior Challenge in Uganda. Having established himself as Stars preferred centre forward, the unavailability of the red-hot Olunga will leave Kimanzi with no options other than to try a new formation upfront.

Algerian-based Masud Juma is likely to fill in Olunga shoes with reigning Cecafa top scorer Oscar Wamalwa, AFC Leopards striker Elvis Rupia and Zambia-based Timothy Otieno offering options.

Meanwhile Kimanzi recalled Bandari’s wing-wizard Abdallah Hassan to replace Timbe Hassan  was part of the Stars team which scooped bronze in the past Cecafa championship.

Yesterday, eleven local-based players reported to camp and were screened for Covid-19  in line with the protocols sanctioned by the Ministry  of Sports. Foreign-based players were expected to start checking into camp  last night.

Continue Reading


Why did Kipchoge loose the London Marathon




When race commentator Steve Cram announced “this is not normal” midway through Sunday’s London Marathon it was something of an understatement as Eliud Kipchoge, the most dominant performer the distance has ever seen, was finally looking mortal.

An hour later, Kipchoge trailed home eighth in a time six minutes slower than his own world record and over a minute adrift of Ethiopia’s Shura Kitata, who won the race after a spectacular sprint finish in two hours, 05.41 minutes.

The Kenyan had finally cracked just under three miles from the end, later saying he was suffering from a blocked ear that affected his breathing and cramp in his hip, but refusing to blame the cold, wet conditions for his poor run.

It was no surprise that he looked slightly bemused as he tried to articulate what had happened, having never previously experienced what almost every other marathon runner at every level has a bad day at the office.

His record over the distance almost defies belief. He posted in his Twitter account that one of his ears blocked, and it could not open anymore.

The Ineos Challenge record holder has however promised to fight for the title another day.

“But this is how the sport is, we should accept defeat and focus for the winning next time. Thanks for the support,” Kipchoge said. He added “If you want to enjoy sport then you have to accept the results. I congratulate the top finishers, and that is how to enjoy the sport.”

He has appreciated Kenyans and his fans for the tremendous support, saying that he is taking the defeat in a positive way.

The race was won by Ethiopian Shura Kitata in a thrilling sprint finish to claim an unexpected victory ahead of Kenyan Vincent Kipchumba.

Continue Reading