President Uhuru Kenyatta has congratulated the Kenyan teams to the Rio Olympics for their sterling performance, saying action will be taken to ensure they do not encounter any challenge in future.
Speaking Wednesday at State House, Nairobi, when he received the national flag back from the Kenya Olympic and the Paralympic teams to the Rio games, President Kenyatta said their performance put Kenya on the world map.
“Congratulation to all of you. Not only to those who won medals but also to every single participant, because for sure you really made us proud and you deserve praise,” President Kenyatta said.
He added: “Kenyans are very proud of you. I know there were challenges and we will discuss the challenges at the appropriate time but the most important thing is that you, who participated, did well.”
President Kenyatta promised to personally deal with the challenges and weakness that were exposed during the Rio Olympic games so that they do not recur in future.
The President also commended the teams for living up to their promise by competing and winning clean, saying they won more than the country’s fair share of medals.
President Kenyatta assured the teams that the Government would do everything it can to facilitate and support them because they are “a living example of what Kenyans should be”.
“It was a very proud moment for all of us when we listened to our national anthem played at the closing ceremony of the Olympic games. It is important that we were there,” he said.
Sports Development Principal Secretary Richard Ekai said the Kenyan teams delivered excellent results and registered the best performance ever for Kenya in any Olympics.
In Rio Olympics, Team Kenya actively participated in seven sports – athletics, boxing, swimming archery, judo, weightlifting and rugby.
The Principal Secretary said that at the end of the Olympic games, Team Kenya was ranked 15 globally.
He said the Kenyan team was the only top-20 participant from Africa with 13 medals – six gold, six silver and one bronze.
“The medals Kenya received were more than what the rest of Africa received,” Mr Ekai said. “Two Olympic records were broken by Vivian Cheruiyot and Conseslus Kipruto in women 5000m and men 3000m steeplechase respectively.”
Mr Ekai said Kenya was also ranked second in international ranking in track and field category, just behind the U.S.A.
For Rio Paralympics, the Principal Secretary said Team Kenya registered exemplary results winning three gold medals, one silver and two bronze.
He thanked President Kenyatta for his continued support to the country’s sportsmen and women.