NAIROBI, October 7 – Mobile phone service provider Safaricom Tuesday presented cheques worth Sh12.8 million to Kenyan medallists at the 2008 Olympics and Paralympic Games in Beijing, China.,
Safaricom had pledged to match the Government’s reward scheme of Sh750,000, Sh500,000 and Sh250,000 for gold, silver and bronze medals respectively for both the Olympics and Paralympics Games.
Kenya won five gold medals, five silver medals and four bronze medals in the Olympics and a further five gold medals, three silver medals and one bronze medal in the Paralympics Games.
“Recognition must align to support. In this regard, we will continue to initiate several programmes to support sports excellence in Kenya. This includes our ongoing initiatives to nurture young athletes and providing support for our high performing athletes.” Safaricom Chief Executive Officer Michael Joseph said.
In the Olympics, gold medalists included Samuel Kamau Wanjiru (42km marathon); Brimin Kipruto (3,000 mertres steeplechase); Pamela Jelimo (800 metres); Wilfred Bungei (800 metres) and Nancy Jebet Lagat (1,500meters).
Silver medalists were Janeth Jepkosgei in the 800 meters race; Catherine Ndereba (42 kilometers marathon); Eliud Kipchoge (5,000 meters); Eunice Jepkorir (3,000 metes steeplechase); and Asbel Kiprop (1,500 meters).
Bronze medalists were Alfred Kirwa Yego (800 meters); Edwin Soi (5,000 metres); Richard Mateelong (3,000 steeplechase) and Micah Kogo (10,000 metres) race.
Kenya took part in five sporting disciplines namely athletics, taekwondo, swimming, rowing and boxing. The country finished the competition as the top African nation and 15th overall with 14 medals.
In the Paralympics, Kenya won a total of nine medals, five gold, three silver and a bronze an improvement from the 2004 Paralympic games in Athens Greece where the team was ranked 37th with total of seven medals, three gold, a silver and three bronze medals.
The team finished 27th overall with a total of nine medals.
Henry Kiprono Kirwa was the most decorated athlete at the games clinching three gold medals in the 5,000 metres T13, 1500m T12/13 and 10,000m T12 categories.
Abraham Tarbei won the other two gold medals in the 1500 T 46 and 5000 T46 categories.
The silver medalists were earned by Francis Karanja Thuo in the 5,000m T-11 category, Samuel Mushai in the 1500 T-11 and Mary Nakumicha in javelin. Captain Henry Wanyoike won Kenya’s only bronze in the 5000 T-11.