Wednesday, August 10, 2016

History of Kenya Olympics Team

Team Kenya is taking part at the ongoing Rio 2016 Summer Olympics Games in Brazil. Read about Team Kenya at the Rio 2016 Summer Olympics

This is the 14th time it’s making its appearance in an Olympics edition since 1956 when the team fist made its debut but missed the Montreal 1976 and Moscow 1980 Summer Olympics editions due to global politics. But as we wait for medals from Rio 2016, I would like to take you back down the memory lane for Team Kenya.

Kenya has been participating in the Olympics since 1956 Summer Olympics held in Melbourne Australia. In the 1956 Olympics Kenya did not win any medal and the closest it came to any medal was by athletes; Nyandika Maiyoro who participated in the 5000 metres and finished 7th, Arap Sum Kanuti, who participated in the Men’s Marathon and finished in a 31st position and Joseph Leresae who was participating in high jump and finished in the 18th position. Kenya had a contingent of over 20 competitors.

In 1960 Olympics held in Rome, Kenya had just one athlete who came close to a medal; Nyandika Maiyoro who came 6th in the men’s 5000 metres. This was second Olympics in row that saw Kenya fail to get any medal, but it was its second time and only future would tell, it had over 20 competitors in its list.

Grace Momanyi; the Beijing 2008 Summer Olympics Flag Bearer for Team Kenya

This Picture is from Wikipedia Creative Commons Attribution

The medal drought came to an end in the 1964 Olympics held in Tokyo, a year after Kenya gained its independence from Britain. Wilson Kiprugut gave Kenya its first ever medal, a bronze medal won in Men's 800 metres. With this first ever medal, Kenya ranked 35th in the Olympics medal table. Another achievement at the Tokyo 1964 Summer Olympics came from the Kenya Hockey team which was ranked 6th.

The dominance of Kenya as an Olympics powerhouse was seen first at the Mexico 1968 Summer Olympics. In this first ever Latin America Olympics Games, Kenya bagged 3 gold medals, 4 silver medals and 2 bronze medals and was ranked 14th.

At the Munich 1972 Summer Olympics, things were not as good compared to Mexico as Kenya ranked 19th after winning 2 gold medals, 3 silver and 4 bronze medals. Kenya did not participate in the 1976 held in Montreal and 1980 Olympics. Team resumed its Summer Olympics participation at the 1984 Olympics in Los Angeles where it ranked 23 after winning a gold medal and 2 bronze medals. At the Seoul 1988 Summer Olympics held in South Korea, Team Kenya was ranked 13th after winning 5 gold medals, 2 silver and 2 bronze medals.

Kenya was already an Olympics giant especially in middle and long distance running, there was no doubt.

At the Barcelona 1992 Summer Olympics Team Kenya was ranked 23rd. This was after winning two gold, four silver and two bronze medals. The Atlanta Olympics of the year 1996 was a bad one for Team Kenya. The Kenya Olympics Team ranked 38th with 1 gold medal, 4 silver and 3 bronze medals.

The Sydney 2000 Summer Olympics saw Kenya ranked 29th after winning two gold, three silver and two bronze medals. Athens 2004 Summer Olympics was a blow for the Team Kenya as it ranked forty one; this was the lowest rank since 1964 Tokyo Summer Olympics. At the 2004 Summer Olympics, Kenya managed to get 1 gold medal, four silver and two bronze medals.

Things would change at the Beijing 2008 Summer Olympics as Kenya ranked 13th. This was the highest rank Kenya had ever managed and for the second time in an Olympics edition. At the Beijing 2008 Summer Olympics Kenya had its biggest medal haul ever with 6 gold medals, 4 silver and 4 bronze medals. It was a memorable moment for all Kenyans. The Beijing Olympics saw Kenya win more gold medals than either silver or bronze.

At the London 2012 Summer Olympics Team Kenya, Kenya sent a contingent of 47 competitors including the Jason Edward Dunford, who was the Opening Ceremony flag bearer and David Rudisha was Closing Ceremony flag bearer. At the end of it all, Kenya could not repeat the 2008 feat. Team Kenya ranked 28th after winning a total of 11 medals of which only two were gold, four were silver while the rest; five were bronze medals.

Rio 2016 is the first edition of the Summer Olympics held in a South American country; will team Kenya get its act together as they did in 2008.

Team Kenya has sent a contingent of 82 competitors, this is the highest number in Kenya Summer Olympics participation and all we can hope for is to see what the Team has in store for the world. We will keep you updated on what is taking place as Kenya takes is 14th appearance in a Summer Olympics edition.

Below is a table summarizing Team Kenya participation and performance at the Summer Olympics editions.

Summer Olympics Team Kenya Participation and Performance

Number of Participation

Year

Host City

Host Country/Continent

Flag Bearer

Number of Sport

Number of Athletes

Gold

Silver

Bronze

Total

Rank

1

1956

Melbourne

Australia/Oceania

 

4

25

0

0

0

0

0

2

1960

Rome

Italy/Europe

 

4

27

0

0

0

0

0

3

1964

Tokyo

Japan/Asia

 

5

37

0

0

1

1

35

4

1968

Mexico City

Mexico/Central and North America

 

4

39

3

4

2

9

14

5

1972

Munich

West Germany/Europe

 

4

57

2

3

4

9

19

 

1976

Montreal

Canada/ Central and North America

TEAM KENYA DID NOT PARTICIPATE

1980

Moscow

USSR/Europe

6

1984

Los Angeles

USA/Central and North America

 

3

61

1

0

2

3

23

7

1988

Seoul

South Korea/Asia

Patrick Waweru

7

74

5

2

2

9

13

8

1992

Barcelona

Spain/Europe

 

2

51

2

4

2

8

21

9

1996

Atlanta

USA/Central and North America

Paul Tergat

5

52

1

4

3

8

38

10

2000

Sydney

Australia/Oceania

Kennedy Ochieng

6

56

2

 

3

2

29

11

2004

Athens

Greece/Europe

Violet Barasa

4

46

1

4

2

7

41

12

2008

Beijing

China/Asia

Grace Momanyi

5

48

 

4

4

14

13

13

2012

London

United Kingdom/Europe

Jason Dunford & David Rudisha

4

47

2

4

5

11

28

14

2016

Rio de Janeiro

Brazil/South America

Shehzana Anwar

6

82