GOLD COAST, Australia- Kenya finished in position 14th overall at the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games after failing to add to her medal tally in the marathons on Sunday morning.
Team Kenya closed the 21st edition of the Club Games with four gold, seven silver and six bronze to finish behind African rivals South Africa and Nigeria.
Australia’s Michael Shelley (2:16:46) and Namibia’s Helalia Johannes (2:32:40) won the men and women’s ultimate distance races with Sheila Jerotich (2:36:19) who finished fourth in the latter the best placed Kenyan.
It capped a dispiriting performance going by the recent high standards set by the country that topped the track and field medal charts at the Delhi 2010 and Glasgow 2014 editions.
Apart from the marathon, Kenya’s poor show in Gold Coast was evident in men’s 5000m, women’s 10,000m, women’s 3000m steeplechase and men’s javelin which were won by unlikely nations.
It was a sad reality to note that a country like Jamaica could stun Kenya in the steeplechase.
It was even worse to see neighbors Uganda waging war in disciplines like 10,000m and 5000m that were once beyond their reach.
The Gold Coast result also proved that Kenya still has a long way to go in events out of track and field commonly referred to as fringe sports.
For example, the only medal won by the country out of track and field was bronze through Christine ‘Mamushka’ Ongare in women’s Flyweight (51kg) boxing.
The overall performance in the fringe sports was an eyesore, with many Kenyan players eliminated in the preliminaries.
It is worth noting that hosts Australia were able to top the charts with a whopping 198 medals including 80 gold, 59 silvers and 59 bronze due to their dedication in the fringe sports.
National Olympics Committee of Kenya (NOCK), Athletics Kenya and other federations should take note of the overall performance in Australia and work on the way forward for the country in line with Tokyo 2020 Olympics.
Selected Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games Standings
Country Gold Silver Bronze Total
1.Australia 80 59 59 198
2.England 45 45 46 136
3.India 26 20 20 66
4.Canada 15 40 27 82
5.New Zealand 15 16 15 46
6.South Africa 13 11 13 37
7.Wales 10 12 14 36
8.Scotland 9 13 22 44
9.Nigeria 9 9 6 24
10.Cyprus 8 1 5 14
11.Jamaica 7 9 11 27
12.Malaysia 7 5 12 24
13.Singapore 5 2 2 9
14.Kenya 4 7 6 17