Kenya has collected 21 medals; six gold, five silver and 10 bronze at the 2022 Birmingham Commonwealth Games that end on Monday in British’s second largest city.
Julius Yego’s bronze in the last action of athletics at the Alexander Stadium on Sunday saw Kenya finish 13th overall and third in Africa in the medal standings.
Australia once again topped with 177 medals; 66 gold, 57 silver and 54 bronze.
Nigeria was the best placed nation in Africa at seventh place with 35 medals; 12 gold, nine silver and 14 bronze and are followed by South Africa with 27 medals; seven gold, nine silver and 11 bronze,
But Kenya was the best in Africa in athletics, having finished third overall behind Australia with 24 medals; 10 gold, 10 silver and four bronze.
England came third with 34 medals; seven gold, 15 silver and 12 bronze.
Once again athletics proved Kenya’s main harvest field at the Games to produce all the medals save for one- bronze- from Hellen Wawira in para powerlifting.
Swimming and boxing that previously earned Kenya medals performed below expectations with major lessons coming through after the two disciplines presented lean teams.
Kenya that had 127 sportsmen and women in Birmingham had earmarked athletics, swimming and boxing for medals. The remaining 18 disciplines were just for participation and exposure.
While Kenya might have improved in performance from the 2018 Gold Coats Games where they collected 17 medals, four gold, seven silver and six bronze, the country is gradually losing out in their largely perceived traditional events.
Perhaps the highlights were Ferdinand Omanyala’s historic victory in the 100m before Jackline Chepkoech blew away the field in women’s 3,000m steeplechase to win in a new Games record.
Beatrice Chepkoech’s gallant display to ensure Kenya retained the women’s 5,000m title with Wycliffe Kinyamal’s successful title defence 800m were by no means great achievements.
The golden dancing girl Mary Moraa’s outstanding show to recapture the women’s 800m title for Kenya, adding the gold to her bronze collection from World Championship in Oregon, was simply amazing.
Abraham Kibiwott’s victory that saw Kenya protect its 3,000m steeplechase tradition after the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and Oregon World Athletics Championships heartbreaks, was simply soothing.
By reaching their respective finals to finish fourth, Boniface Mweresa (400m) and Wiseman Were (400m hurdles) showed the country can perfome well in sprints.
That the quartet of Mweresa, Wiseman, Mike Mokamba and William Rayan claimed bronze in 4x400m drives the point home, with Africa 400m bronze medallist Veronica Mutua( 400m) and Millicent Ndoro (200m) reaching the semi-finals of their respective events.
Athletics head coach Julius Kirwa said even though the performance surpassed 2018 Gold Coast, it could have been much better if athletes reported on time for residential training in Nairobi.
“The relationship between coaches and athletes in Birmingham was cordial but the only shortcoming was at home where it’s only sprinters who reported and a handful of others like Beatrice Chebet,” said Kirwa.
“We just met other here or at the airport.”
Kenya’s 4x100m mixed relay swimming team might have finished eighth in the final, but they had already made history.
Imara Bella Thorpe and Emily Muteti partnered with Ridhwan Abubakar and Maina Monyo to set a new national record of three minutes and 43.33 seconds finishing eighth in the final.
Ferdinand Omanyala (100m)
Mary Moraa (800m)
Wycliffe Kinyamal (800)
Abraham Kibiwott (3,000m steeplechase)
Jackline Chepkoech (3,000m steeplechase)
Beatrice Chebet (5,000m)
Timothy Cheruiyot (1,500m)
Daniel Simiu (10,000m)
Irene Cheptai (10,000m)
Jacob Krop (5,000m)
Margaret Wangari (Marathon)
Michael Githae (Marathon),
Nicholas Kimeli (5,000m)
Amos Serem (3,00m steeplechase)
Kibiwott Kandie (10,000m)
Sheila Chepkirui (10,000m)
Selah Jepleting (5,000m)
Emily Ngii (10,000m race walk)
Julius Yego (javelin)
Wiseman Were, Mike Mokamba, William Rayan, Boniface Mweresa (4x400m)
Hellen Wawira (para powerlifting)