Defence Cabinet Secretary Aden Duale has called upon Kenya Defence Forces (KDF) to maintain and portray the highest standards of sportsmanship, discipline and patriotism during major championships in a bid to raise the country flag high thus advertise Kenya to the outside world.
Speaking during the 43rd edition of the KDF Athletics Championship at the Ulinzi Sports Complex in Langata-Nairobi,the vibrant CS commended all the participants in various sporting activities for demonstrating resilience and commitment to record good performance under tight and hotly contested events.
“I challenge the sportsmen and women within the KDF that, even as they compete for medals, they should maintain and portray the highest standards of sportsmanship, discipline and patriotism as they have done before.I assure the contestants that Kenya is proud of them for enhancing the country’s image in the global arena and commend the leadership of KDF for their dedication and professionalism in performance of duty making it possible for KDF to be a shining example.” he said
Hurdles Wiseman Were and Rukia Nusra were declared the best male and female athletes respectively during the three-day championships which also saw Vivian Chebet seal a double, winning her maiden 800m title besides reclaiming the 400m as Cornelius Tuwei was installed as the new 800m king.
On Wednesday, Boston Marathon champion Hellen Obiri and World Half Marathon silver medallist Kibiwott Kandie retained their respective titles in 5000m and 10000m races.
“I had not competed this year at home hence my decision to come and represent my Laikipia Airbase team as well as defend my title.Track will always give me the speed I need in a marathon” Obiri who won’t pitch for a place in Team Kenya for the World Athletics Championships in Budapest explained.
In other results, Africa champion Emily Ngii and Simon Wachira retained their respective 20km race walk crowns as the 2017 national champion Alexander Kiprotich sealed an unprecedented 10th title in javelin
A team of 40 soldiers from the KDF was selected to represent the military during the National Athletics Championship to be held between June 22-24 at Kasarani stadium and consequently represent the country in the continental extravaganza in Ghana.
Besides Athletics, KDF has done very well in other sporting disciplines such as Volleyball, Kickboxing among others.
Their sister football team Ulinzi Stars will be fighting tooth and nail next season to catapult themselves back into the international stage despite elimination from FKF Cup in the hands of Tusker FC last weekend.
The Nakuru-based soldiers last graced continental football in 2017 when they flew the country’s flag at the Caf Confederation Cup where they were bundled out in the qualifying round by Egypt’s Smouha on a 4-3 aggregate score