Athletics Kenya set to honor the country’s pioneer runners at the70 years’ anniversary celebration tomorrow (December 15, 2020) at Nyayo Stadium.
The federation, then known as Kenya Amateur Athletics Association (KAAA) was founded in 1950 by Britons Sir Archie Erskine and Archie Evans founded in 1950 .
Sir Erskine served as the first Chairman of the Kenya Amateur Athletics Association (KAAA) from 1950 to 1964, laid the foundation for country’s running that saw Kenya feature at the Olympic Games for the first time in 1956 in Melbourne, and participating at the Tokyo Olympics in 1964 for the first time as an independent nation.
The celebrations will see some of the country’s pioneer runners honored for their contributions to the sport and exhibition of the running kits and wards from the 50s, 60s, 70s and 80s being displayed.
The founding runners includes Nyandika Maiyoro, Wilson Kiprugut Chumo, Amos Biwott, Kipchoge Keino, Naftali Temu, Naftali Bon, Ben Jipcho, Tecla Chemabwai Sang, Tegla Loroupe, Lydia Stephens, Elizabeth Jemeli Chesire, Hezekiah Nyamau, Robert Ouko, Julius Sang and Charles Asati, among others.
Their achievements stand out, with Kiprugut being the first Kenyan to win an Olympic medal – a bronze in the 880 yards (now 800m) – at the 1964 Tokyo Olympic Games.
Maiyoro was among the first Kenyan athletes to compete in a global contest at the 1954 Commonwealth Games in Vancouver, Canada, leading the national team that had 4×440 yards relay quartet of Bartojo Rotich, Wanyoike Kamau, Musembi Mbathi alongside 880 yards’ stars Silas Kibet Boit and Kiptalam Keter.
Kenya has won 103 medals at the Olympic Games in track and field and will be eyeing more glory at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics slated for next year.
The celebration which will be attended by Cabinet Secretary for Sports, Heritage and Culture
Amina Mohamed comes just a few weeks after the World Athletics, Iten, a region in the rift valley where most Kenyan runners’ trains was awarded the World Athletics Heritage Plaque for its outstanding contribution to the worldwide history and development of athletics.
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