Heroic Olympic team jets back

August 28, 2008 12:00 am

, NAIROBI, August 27 – The national Olympics team arrived to a stirring welcome on Wednesday night.

The airport came to a virtual standstill as the triumphant athletes disembarked from the Emirates plane shortly after 7pm.

Vice President Kalonzo Musyoka, family members, friends, athletics officials and curious onlookers were at hand to welcome ’s heroes back home.

Traditional dancers were also at hand to welcome the team which put up a sterling performance in Beijing recording Kenya’s best ever performance at the games
winning 14 medals including five gold, five silver and four bronze.

Olympic 800 metres champion and overall team captain Wilfred Bungei was first out of the plane holding aloft the Kenyan flag.

Marathon gold medallist Samuel Wanjiru and 3,000 metres steeplechase gold medallist Brimin Kipruto followed as the crowd went berserk as they jostled to catch a glimpse of of their stars.

Afterwards, Bungei said, “I would like to thank Kenyans for all the support they have given us and the fact that they did not lose hope. I am so happy to have finished with a gold medal.”

“It was very tough and especially when I saw that the guys were coming fast, I was shocked to cross the line first. In as we speak now I am the happiest man now having achieved this. It was overwhelming as I crossed the line first,” he said.

Wanjiru said the welcome at JKIA was overwhelming, “I am delighted with the crowd that came to meet us. If we get such support every time, then i have no doubt that we shall go one to do great things.”

Coach Julius Kirwa said the excellent results were the fruits of hard work put in the build up to the games.

“These results are the reflection of all the training we did in Ngong, Ruiru and Athi River as we sought to ensure that our team was well prepared,” he said adding that the men’s 800 metres gold was the sweetest, “People had given up hope but at the camp we were hopeful and the captain gave it his all.”

Other athletes who arrived on Wednesday night included 5,000 metres silver medallist Eliud Kipchoge, Martha Komu who was fifth in the marathon and Viola Kibiwott who was fifth in the 1500 metres semifinals.

The rest of the medallist remained in Europe readying themselves for Friday’s IAAF Golden League meet in Zurich.

The team will fly to Mombasa on Friday morning where they will meet President Mwai Kibaki at State House Mombasa.


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