The past weekend saw great performances by Kenyan sports, rekindling fond memories. It started with Gor Mahia Football Club overturning Rwandan military side APR’s first leg 2-1 victory in Kigali in the CAF Champions League with a 3-1 thrashing of the visitors in the return leg in Nairobi.
Gor advanced on 4-3 aggregate to the first round of the Champions League, where victory will see them qualify for the group stage. Achieving this will guarantee them Sh58 million in the tournament, whose winner will pocket a cool Sh300 million.
Should they fail to reach the group stage, they will play in the Confederation Cup play-off round. Advancing to the group stage will see them reap some Sh30 million.
No Kenyan club has ever reached the group stage since the new format began in 2004. However, Gor reached the Confederation Cup knockout stage in the 2018/2019 campaign.
Yesterday, Kenyan talent was also on display overseas, with equally enthralling performances by athletes in Valencia, Spain.
World half-marathon silver medallist Kibiwott Kandie ran 57 minutes and 32 seconds to obliterate compatriot Geoffrey Kamworor’s half- marathon world record in a race where youngster Rhonex Kipruto came third.
Then Peres Chepchirchir Ngeno and Evans Chebet set new course record times in the full marathon of 2:17:16 and 2:03:00, respectively, where Lawrence Cherono and Joycilline Jepkosgei secured a 1-2 finish.
For Gor, the hardest part has begun in earnest since the first round is where the continent’s creme de la crème is. Officials must stop squabbling and focus on preparations to deliver victory.
For its part, Athletics Kenya have been given something to ponder, having named the Tokyo Olympics marathon team. Changes should not be ruled out as the Valencia stars are knocking on the door.
The final marathon team selection should not be rushed as the Olympics are almost seven months