Some good omens for Kenyan athletes before the Olympic athletic events could begin on Friday, a View from Kenya


Kipyegon_FaithFV-PreC16.jpGFaith Kipyegon, Pre Classic, May 2016, photo by

This is Justin Lagats' first piece on the theme of the Rio Olympics. Justin's job is to provide a particular Kenyan viewpoint, and he does that quite well. In this column, Justin writes about the good news that has come to Kenyan spots lately, namely WADA taking his country off the non-compliant list and strong testing prior to Rio. Before you criticize, please consider that, there are always two sides to a story and Justin Lagat is no more proud of his country than those from U.S. are of theirs.

Some good omens for Kenyan athletes before the Olympic Athletic events could begin on Friday
There have been a few hitches regarding Kenya's preparations for the Rio Olympic Games including the failure of some officials to organize everything regarding the travel and registration of athletes in time, among others. But, many good things have been happening too. The good developments have helped boost the morale Kenyan athletes, now in Rio, before the athletic events begin this Friday. Below are some of them.
Kenya's Kipchoge Keino, who was one of the first legendary athletes to represent Kenya in major world competitions, became the first athlete to ever receive the Olympic laurel award for his outstanding contribution to the Olympic movement and education. After accepting the award, he was quoted as having said, "We come to this world with nothing; we will leave it with nothing." This was a statement that defines a true hero and what should be expected from any role model who is concerned with the betterment of the world in general. This should also help paint a real picture about Kenyan athletes in general; not what others try to paint in this era when everyone is desperate to get more followers on their social media pages and are posting anything to attract more traffic to their websites.
As some other athletes from other countries were getting concerned about Kenya being termed as non-compliant with the WADA code, yet sending her athletes to the Olympic Games, WADA came through at the right time to clear any doubts on Kenya's clean athletes as they began embarking on a mission to showcase their natural talents and win Olympic medals in Rio. Kenyan athletes have been subjected to many tests of late, some of them up to three times in less than two weeks, before they left for Rio. Now, the world knows that the problem was actually with the drafting of the bill to be compliant with the WADA code and not with the character of the Kenyan athletes.
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Another thing to note is that, unlike in the past years, Kenyan athletes this time round did their training in Eldoret which is at a higher altitude than Nairobi which has always been their venue. Eldoret, a town that has been nick-named as the "city of champions" is in the centre of a region that has continued to produce the world's best long distance runners. Whatever has been helping these athletes dominate middle and long distance, be it the altitude, the landscape, the weather, or the environment; that is exactly the same conditions they were in as they prepared for the Olympics.
'A good day is foreseen in the morning.' This is a popular Swahili saying in Kenya that the wise men used when trying to analyze the possible outcome of any venture. It has began well for Kenya, and if the wise men did not err, then it will end well for Kenya at the Olympic Games in Rio.

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