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Kenya’s best and worst sporting moments of 2015

By DAVID KWALIMWA

Kenya, a renowned global sporting giant, made headlines for both the right and wrong reasons in the year 2015. Here are few of highlights and lowlights:

THE HIGHLIGHTS

1. Harambee Stars beat Cape Verde – Kenya’s 1-0 win over Cape Verde stood out because one nobody expected this result considering the gulf in class between the two teams both in the Fifa rankings and recent results. Although Kenya eventually lost the World Cup qualifying tie on aggregate, the result offered hope for the team heading into the future.

2. African Queens win international tournament – The national women volleyball team has been the pride of Kenya for several years now, having brought home several continental honours. In 2015, the team went one better by defeating Peru, Australia and Mexico, at the Group3 Grand Prix tournament in Oceania.

3. Kenya triumph at the World Athletics Championship – For all Kenya’s dominance in track and field over the years, finishing top of the medal standings at the World Athletics Championship in China, ahead of bigwigs Jamaica, USA and Great Britain was perhaps the country’s biggest achievement in sports in 2015.

The LOWLIGHTS

1. Doping in athletics – Several Kenyan athletes were found guilty of doping and consequently banned in 2015, including two at the World Athletics Championship in China. These occurrences were a major blot on Kenya’s image with questions being raised on the country’s success athletics over the years.

2. Endless administrative wrangles – Sports administrators in Kenya, from football, hockey to athletics and rugby spent the better part of the year 2015 on endless turf wars. A majority of these administrators at the same time have been reluctant to conform to the Sports Act 2013.

3. Dennis Oliech’s decline – It has been painful to watch former Harambee Stars captain Dennis Oliech devoid of pace and skill on the field of play. Having lost his place in the national team and out of competitive European football, there have been disturbing reports that the star striker is currently struggling financial, even after earning an estimated Sh1 billion during his professional stint in Europe and the Middle East.