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All roads lead to Nyayo

NAIROBI, Kenya, July 26- The crème de la crème of African athletes will be on show when the 17th edition of the African Athletics Championships kicks off in Nairobi, Kenya on Wednesday at the Nyayo National Stadium.A record number of entrants from 35 countries will take part in the five-day event which is taking place in the mecca of middle and long distance running.

Having cheered and watched the continent’s top athletes perform the world over, athletics fans will have the chance to watch them strut their stuff on African soil.

And with so many world, Olympic and Commonwealth champions, the championships in Nairobi will resemble a mini-world championships or one of the elite Golden League meets.

World 800m men’s champion, Mbulaeni Mulaudzi, will lead a South African squad of 30 entrants. Ethiopia is sending 85 entrants, including stars like Tirunesh Dibaba, Meseret Defar, Meselech Melkamu and Gelete Burka.

Nigeria has not been left behind with 44 competitors, including the reigning Africa 100m champion Oludamola Osayomi. Add the likes of Amantle Montsho of Bostwana and Halima Hachlaf of Morocco and you have a star-studded cast.

Kenyan fans are the luckiest as they will get a chance to watch their heroes and heroines battle it out against their rivals. Olympic champions Nancy Jebet Langat and Asbel Kiprop, world champions Vivian Cheruiyot, Ezekiel Kemboi and Linet

Masai, as well as Janeth Jepkosgei, David Rudisha and Richard Mateelong will all be on show.

Consequently, there will be a number of intriguing battles on the track. Mulaudzi’s battle with Rudisha, who is also the reigning Africa 800m champion, will be mouth-watering as the powerful Kenyan is in the form of his life while the South African remains one of the more experienced and dangerous opponents on the track.

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The Ethiopia against Kenyan rivalry has dominated athletics for as long as one can remember and Nairobi will provide the perfect battle ground for the latest sequel between these two historical rivals.

World 5000m champion Vivian Cheruiyot will take on former world champion and world indoor 3000m winner Meseret Defar. The petite Kenyan won in Berlin but Defar turned the tables in Doha a clash for the ages in Nairobi.

In the 10 000m, Tirunesh Dibaba will attempt to wrestle the mantle from the top 10 000m woman in Linet Masai. The long-legged 21-year-old Kenyan took advantage of Dibaba’s absence from injury and poor form to win the world title in Berlin last year and silver at the world cross country championships.

Another key battle will be in the 1500m with Olympic champion Nancy Jebet Langat up against Gelete Burka. The duo have beaten each other once this season and will battle it out as Burka attempts to defend the crown she won on home soil two years ago.



  1. Izodamy

    November 6, 2011 at 4:06 pm

    Dennis Onyango, I quite agree with you on this!. Even in very advanced economies it has never been known that facebook and twitting has put money in the pockets of youths other than social networking. Not every person in any given setup has the opportunity to get a university level education. And even for those who have it, how many are technology savvy?. As a youth, with multiple degrees up to and including advanced level, I just fear for my brothers and sisters who have never been lucky and had an opportunity like myself. Some of us even with little political popularity are struggling to find projects that can keep our youths engaged in a more productive manner!. It is just surprising that a person seeking leadership of a country still believes in whipping youths and his tribe to vote for him by giving them handouts without any long term solution to their problems. Instead of criticizing all the times to win sympathy, it is a prudent idea if Mr. Ruto at least for once engaged the public in discussing tangible ideas that can move this country forward. So far I have heard none from him and I wonder if his bid for presidency is all about revenge and trivializing issues and dividing communities because of his going to the Hague to answer to crimes against humanity? All there is known about Mr. Ruto is the YK’92 project that helped impoverish the country and numerous cases about public grabbing and his chest-thumping. Does Ruto and company really represent the interests of the Kenyan youth other than their own hidden agenda and selfish interests? It is high time a Kenyan youth got real representation!!.

  2. Oludavin

    November 6, 2011 at 7:27 pm

    Well said Mr. Denis, I wish u could organise tv and radio shows to make sure that these facts are understood by many youths and everybody out there listening to empty talks from the gang of seven idiots!

  3. Bmutai

    November 6, 2011 at 10:27 pm

    Good article Mr Onyango. 
    If Hon. Ruto wants the PM to be judged by his performance/non-performance in the KKV project, then it is only fair that Ruto be judged by his performance as the former minister for agriculture too! If during his time he introduced any policy that would is going to improve our food security, then he should be given all the time to make noise. Otherwise he should just shut up and let leaders who’ve got ideas rule…
    Leaders who thrive on opposing other people’s ideas while never coming up with their own shouldn’t be entertained if we’re to move forward. From my personal observation, Ruto would be lost without the PM. He only exists to poke fingers at the policies being supported by the PM.
    So, Hon. Ruto, if you do read this, please, please, please, do come up with one good policy/idea… And don’t be surprised if you get the backing of the PM!

  4. OneKenya

    November 7, 2011 at 7:28 am

    Way to go Dennis!! I have always wondered why the PM’s office doesn’t just take out a newspaper ad or pay for a TV ad that highlights issues such as these. I have been digging up my own information concerning the members of the G7 simply because it looked very much like the set up that created our financial crisis following YK92. I challenge the media to do the same, show us who these purported leaders really are. Let us know the real Railas, Rutos, Uhurus, Wamalwas etc. Still, as beneficiaries of scam money, both Jirongo and Ruto should be thankful they can still speak in public, and not from prison cells. What YK92 did was criminal, and it is criminal that Ruto and his gang continue to discredit a national program that has benefited more real youth than their YK92 monster ever did.

  5. razor ramon

    November 7, 2011 at 8:07 am

    I imagine that since Ruto  discovered the wonders of facebook he doen’t have hiw lawns more, flowers weeded etc or probably they dont use slashers and jembes.

  6. Anonymous

    November 8, 2011 at 11:36 am

    This is good bwana Onyango, the Gang of 7 must be told explicitly who they are and what they have done to this country. It is insulting to hear someone who benefiting from the corruption network of YK92 and the old KANU order talk about youth empowerment. And I want to challenge Ruto to tell Kenyans which economy today thrive only on ‘computers’ – as he is bend on making us belief. Kenyans are very sharp and we know just like a jembe/ panga a computer is a tool used to make work happen. In all economies these tools are necessary as not all people have the same qualifications and opportunities. So I challenge the Gang of 7 to lay down their National agenda as opposed to personal read Raila agenda.

  7. Igutatony

    November 13, 2011 at 10:09 pm

    thank you for the article. please kenyan, so the sake of our country dont vote these idiots G7,KKK or whatever they call themselve! Pangas and majembes are also tools of the trade! Cheap politics from cheap politicians.

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