Leaders from all walks of life sent condolences to the family, relatives and friends of Kenya’s pioneer Olympian, Nyandika Maiyoro, who died on Sunday evening.
He was pronounced dead by doctors at Christa Marianne Hospital, Kisii, at 8.51pm. He had been at the facility for three weeks.
Kip Keino, who came on the heels of Nyandika’s era, said it was sad to lose pioneer athletes like Nyandika in such circumstances.“
“It’s shocking to hear the double tragedy in Gusiiland. They did a lot for the country. I send my personal condolences and those of pioneer athletes to the family, friends and relatives of the late Nyandika,” said Keino.
His death came a day after another athlete from the same region, John Mayaka, who won bronze in 1974 Commonwealth Games in Christchurch, New Zealand, also died in Nyamira Level 5 hospital.
“I learnt a lot from Nyandika and the first generation of Kenyan Olympics like Kanuti Sum, Bartonjo Rotich, Kiptalam Keter, Kimaru Songok and others, which inspired us to take the Kenyan name higher,” said Keino, who won two Olympic gold medals in 1968 and 1972.
Athletics Kenya (AK) President, Lt Gen (RTD) Jackson Tuwei and NOC-K President Paul Tergat also sent their condolences to the family and entire athletics fraternity.
“I have learned with great shock the double tragedy in Gusiiland, which has robbed us of John Mayaka, who was a great javelin thrower for Kenya and Armed Forces, and Nyandika Maiyoro,” said Lt Gen Tuwei.
“I join the athletics family during this sad moment and urge fellow athletes to join the families of the departed colleagues in prayers during this sad moment,” he said.
Other condolences came from AK Executive officials Paul Mutwii (senior VP), Kibet Jinaro and Fatuma Awale (Vice Presidents), various AK regional and institutional chairmen – Benjamin Njoga (Prisons), David Miano (Central) Peter Angwenyi (Nyanza South), Barnaba Korir (Nairobi), Joseph Ochieng’ (Nyanza North), Patrick Kipsang (Western), Dimmy Kisalu (Coast), Abraham Mutai (Central Rift), John Wachira (South Rift), Wilson Musto (North Rift), Abdulahi Salat (North Eastern), Ainsworth Maragara (Eastern), Pyaban Daniels (KDF), Joseph Kiget (Police), Paul Tuitoek (Universities).
AK PRO Evans Bosire also condoled with the families of Nyandika and John Mayaka “It’s very said time for us to lose two heroes. May the almighty father guide the families of mzee Nyandika and mzee Mayaka during this sad moment.”
Former athletes Robert Ouko, Charles Asati, Hezekiah Nyamau, Rose Tata Muya, Tecla Sang and Patrick also sent their messages of condolences as did Athletes Representatives Milka Chemos, David Rudisha and their predecessor Benjamin Limo.