Tag Archives: International Olympic Committee

Of Marathon Golds, Closing Ceremonies and Kenya’s best Olympic performance ever

Deriba Merga of Ethiopia, Jaouad Gharib of Morocco and Samuel Kamau Wanjiru of Kenya compete in the mens marathon during the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games [Reuters]

Deriba Merga of Ethiopia, Jaouad Gharib of Morocco and Samuel Kamau Wanjiru of Kenya compete in the men's marathon during the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games August 24, 2008 - Reuters

In a conversation with a @jollyrulez yesterday, he just made me realize that the only Olympic medals given out during the closing ceremony were all claimed by African Marathon runners – ensuring that all 3 National Anthems were sang to a crowd of 91,000 and televised to millions more globally. This was Kenya’s best Olympics to date. What could make you more proud? Smiles all around.

Billions worldwide watched and applauded on Sunday as International Olympic Committee President Jacques Rogge presented Kenya’s Samuel Kamau Wanjiru with a gold medal for winning the men’s marathon race that brought the curtain down on a highly successful Beijing Olympic Games, both for the Chinese hosts and for Kenya.

The Kenyan flag was raised at the brand new 91,000-seater Beijing National Olympic Stadium and the Kenyan national anthem played after Belgian Rogge, accompanied by International Association of Athletics Federations’ president, Lamine Diack of Senegal, also presented bouquets of flowers to the 21-year-old Wanjiru, Morocco’s silver medallist Jaouad Gharib and Ethiopia’s Tsegay Kebede who won the bronze in the 42-kilometre race.

Wanjiru’s winning time of two hours, six minutes and 32 seconds was an Olympic record and also marked the fifth Kenyan gold medal at the Beijing Games that were the country’s most successful ever.

The win was also Kenya’s first in the marathon at the four-yearly Olympics.

Kenya finished the competition as the top African nation and an impressive 15th overall with 14 medals – five gold, five silver and four bronze.The performance surpassed the previous best of nine medals

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