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Disappointed Kenya to investigate its Olympics 'debacle'

August 15, 2012 | 11:52 am


Kenyans were so deflated by their "lackluster" showing at the London Olympics that the government has announced it will investigate why the country took home only two gold medals.

Team Kenya won 11 medals this year, but the haul was seen as measly after the country snagged 14 at the Beijing Olympics four years ago, including six gold medals. In London, its Olympic team landed behind South Africa and Ethiopia as the third-highest medal winner among African nations at the Games.

Kenyan media bemoaned the Olympics as a “horror show” and a “debacle.” The London team “was supposed to be the best we have ever dispatched to the Olympics,” an editorial in the Standard lamented.

The Daily Nation blamed lousy coaching and infighting among athletics officials. The National Olympics Committee of Kenya and Athletics Kenya “must wipe out the rot in their respective organizations if we are to make an impact in Rio de Janeiro in four years,” it said.

Kenyan athletes reportedly were dismayed by a training camp in Bristol that was so poorly equipped that one athlete turned back to Kenya and others refused to go at all. In the British town, "the recalcitrant [Kenyan Olympics] officials set up camp merely to rake in their $300-a-day allowances, totally ignoring the fact that serious competition awaited the team at the Olympic Stadium," sports radio host Eddy Kimani wrote in dismay. "The tab was picked up by the toiling taxpayer."

While some of Team Kenya stayed in Europe for another competition in Sweden, others returned Wednesday to an uneasy welcome, as Sports Minister Paul Otuoma said the government was undertaking an inquiry on its Olympics letdown.

“We shall not hide anything. When the report is prepared we shall release it to the public to know what really happened,” Otuoma told reporters.


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-- Emily Alpert in Los Angeles

Photo: Gold medalist Stephen Kiprotich of Uganda, center, is flanked by silver medalist Abel Kirui of Kenya, left, and bronze medal winner Wilson Kipsang Kiprotich of Kenya in the men's marathon during the closing ceremony at the London 2012 Olympic Games on Sunday. Credit:Hannibal /  European Pressphoto Agency