NAIROBI, Kenya- World and Commonwealth men 1500m champion, Elijah Manangoi, has urged the Government to relate closer with Kenyan athletes to boost their performance internationally.
The Team Kenya captain from the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games in Australia made it clear they need proper training facilities, timely allowances and moral support from the Ministry of Sports and Heritage for them to post impressive results.
“If all our needs are met, I can assure you that rate at which the country will bag medals will double,” underlined Manangoi on Tuesday morning in Nairobi when the Ministry held a reward ceremony for the medalists from the Gold Coast 2018 where Kenya bagged four gold, seven silver and six bronze.
Gold winners received KSh1m while silver and bronze medallists took home KSh750,000 and KSh500,000 in that order with the State splashing KSh12.5m on Tuesday (USD124,458.60).
Manangoi challenged fellow athletes to be prepared to reciprocate the request by conquering continental and world championships.
While responding to the appeal Cabinet Secretary, Rashid Echesa, assured that the athletes needs will be duly met during his tenure.
“I have worn this shoe before so I know the challenges the players go through while stepping up training for contests.
“I will make sure that they are availed structures for training, they are appreciated and rewarded in time like we have done today,” underlined Echesa who handed cheques to all the 17 athletes who won medals for Kenya in Australia.
“This payment has been made in compliance with the directive made by President Uhuru Kenyatta in 2016.
“I will advocate for even a better package if possible because I have spent time with athletes and have known the kind of suffering they endure, including waking up in the wee hours of the morning to train, in order to bring us gold,” Echesa noted.
“I was in Cuba recently and realized that athletes are celebrated more than the president.
“I want to make it clear that my office is open for any athlete who might have a pressing on challenging issue that may require intervention by the Ministry,” the minister underscored.
While thanking the Government for compensating the athletes and shouldering all their expenses to Gold Coast, National Olympic Committee of Kenya (NOCK) chairman, Paul Tergat challenged national federations to avail to NOCK competitive athletes during universal competitions.
“I urged the associations to select for us their best players, people who can win medals.
“The officials should also try to avoid situations that will push you them to the wall to solve their matters at the Sports Dispute Tribunal board like we witnessed before we departed to Australia,” Tergat underlined.
Gold Wycliffe Kinyamal Men’s 800m
Gold Conseslus Kipruto Men’s 3000m Steeplechase
Gold Hellen Obiri Women’s 5000 m
Gold Elijah Motonei Manangoi Men’s 1500m
Silver Stacy Ndiwa Women’s 10,000m
Silver Beatrice Chepkoech Women’s 1500 m
Silver Celliphine Chepteek Chespol Women’s 3000 m Steeplechase
Silver Abraham Kibiwott Men’s 3000 m Steeplechase
Silver Margaret Nyairera Wambui Women’s 800 m
Silver Margaret Chelimo Kipkemboi Women’s 5000 m
Silver Timothy Cheruiyot Athletics Men’s 1500 m
Bronze Samuel Ireri Gathimba Men’s 20 kilometres walk
Bronze Edward Zakayo Men’s 3000 m Steeplechase
Bronze Purity Cherotich Kirui Women’s 3000 m Steeplechase
Bronze Amos Kirui Men’s 3000 m Steeplechase
Bronze Rodgers Kwemoi Men’s 10000m
Bronze Christine Ongare Women’s 51 kg Boxing