Kenyan fans all talk but little action

We will have to watch from the fence as the other countries are feted.

Kenya's Hellen Obiri celebrates as she crosses the finish line to win the women's 5000m race during the AG Insurance Memorial Van Damme athletics event, the last meeting of the IAAF Diamond League competition, on September 1, 2017 in Brussels. PHOTO | LAURIE DIEFFEMBACQ |  AFP

IN SUMMARY

  • Qatar’s Mutaz Barshim, Briton Mo Farah and South Africa’s Wayde Van Niekerk will be gunning for the men’s top award while world 10,000m record-holder Almaz Ayana, heptathlete Naissatou Thiam and Ekaterini Stefanidi will fight for the women’s accolade.

I must confess that I was equally disappointed.

However, the million-dollar question is that do we play our role as Kenyans when it comes to voting?

Honestly, I highly doubt. From a small research I carried out, I discovered that Kenyans are just good at talking and are not keen on supporting their own.

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I interviewed two groups, one comprising sportsmen from athletics and other disciplines and the other featuring stakeholders in sports. The results were baffling considering that out of about 15 people I talked to, only two had voted.

We must realise that rules are rules and we have no choice but to stick by them. It’s ironical that most Kenyans are online almost the whole day yet they can’t take a second to vote for their sportsmen and women.

FAILED TO MAKE LIST

Hellen Obiri and Elijah Manang’oi failed to make the final list of this year’s IAAF Awards not because they were inferior to the other in terms of performance but because we didn’t just vote.

Some would say the public vote counts for only 25 percent but for God’s sake why can’t we play our part and leave the rest to the organisers.

We must note that the two athletes were not representing their own interest but that of a nation.

We have consistently repeated the same mistake for years with Vivian Cheruiyot also having missed out in 2011 on the same grounds despite a stellar performance. Just like football and any other sports, the IAAF Awards have rules, which have to be followed to the letter.

It sucks when we leave it too late and pour our anger at the tail end.

EXPRESS ANGER

I wish we would vote the way we go on social media to express our anger and mourn the exit of our top heroes and heroines. Huh! Kenyans are just special!

I wish we knew how prestigious it is to have the likes of Obiri and Manag’oi in our midst. In fact, when it comes to such events, organisations like Brand Kenya and Kenya Tourism Board must set aside a budget and spearhead the campaign because if this is not branding the country then I don’t know what it is.

Unfortunately, this time we will have to watch from the fence as the other countries are feted.

Qatar’s Mutaz Barshim, Briton Mo Farah and South Africa’s Wayde Van Niekerk will be gunning for the men’s top award while world 10,000m record-holder Almaz Ayana, heptathlete Naissatou Thiam and Ekaterini Stefanidi will fight for the women’s accolade.

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