In London, Kenyans Confident of Olympic Gold

    Kenya's David Rudisha celebrates after winning the men's 800 metres at the IAAF Diamond League athletics meeting, Saint-Denis, France, July 6, 2012.
    Kenya's David Rudisha celebrates after winning the men's 800 metres at the IAAF Diamond League athletics meeting, Saint-Denis, France, July 6, 2012.
    Sonny Young
    LONDON -- Kenya was the top performing African team at the 2008 Beijing Olympics, winning a total of 14 medals, six of them gold.
     
    But this summer in London, says Gordon Oluoch, Nairobi's Commissioner of Sports, the team expects to best its medal tally of four years ago. Speaking with VOA in front of a big poster of David Rudisha -- world record holder at 800 meters and one the country's favorites for gold -- he says Kenya is offering perhaps its strongest Olympics lineup ever.
     
    “We are fairly confident, but not overconfident, and I think we will do fairly well," he says. "This may be probably our best Olympic outing ever, potentially, judging by the number of gold medals we expect to get."
     
    Some of that expectation falls directly on Rudisha, captain and flag-bearer for opening ceremonies, who is bidding for his first Olympic title. While Oluoch describes Rudisha as being in top form and ready to win gold, he also expects to see Kenyans mounting the podium in other track events as well.
     
    “We expect to do well, of course, in our traditional event, the three-thousand meters steeplechase," he says. "We expect to do well also in the men's 1500 meters, where our athlete [reigning Olympic champion Asbel Kiprop] posted the best time in the world this season [3:28.88 on July 20th], so we are quite optimistic there."
     
    He also points to the women's 5,000 and 10,000 meters, where Kenya's Vivian Cheruiyot will try to duplicate her achievement of last year's world championships in South Korea by winning gold in both events, as another point of optimism.
     
    Kenyans are also expected to contend for medals in the women's and men's marathons, which are staged for August 5 and 12 respectively.
     
    Describing the Olympics as a great unifying force for all Kenyans, he says the team recently held a moment of silence for Sammy Wanjiru, the 2008 Olympic marathon champion who died last year after falling from a balcony at age 24.
     
    Wanjiru's Olympic record run in Beijing, he says, will always be remembered by Kenyan athletic fans.
     
    “It means a great deal to them. The Olympic time is a great time for Kenyans. This is the time when the whole country rallies behind one point," he says. "We have our differences of a political nature and a social nature, but when it comes to the Olympic Games, everybody is united behind the team."

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Chinese-Americans Heart Trump, Bucking National Trendi
    X
    May 27, 2016 5:57 AM
    A new study conducted by three Asian-American organizations shows there are three times as many Democrats as there are Republicans among Asian-American voters, and they favor Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. But one group, called Chinese-Americans For Trump, is going against the tide and strongly supports the business tycoon. VOA’s Elizabeth Lee caught up with them at a Trump rally and reports from Anaheim, California.
    Video

    Video Chinese-Americans Heart Trump, Bucking National Trend

    A new study conducted by three Asian-American organizations shows there are three times as many Democrats as there are Republicans among Asian-American voters, and they favor Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. But one group, called Chinese-Americans For Trump, is going against the tide and strongly supports the business tycoon. VOA’s Elizabeth Lee caught up with them at a Trump rally and reports from Anaheim, California.
    Video

    Video Reactions to Trump's Success Polarized Abroad

    What seemed impossible less than a year ago is now almost a certainty. New York real estate mogul Donald Trump has won the number of delegates needed to secure the Republican presidential nomination. The prospect has sparked as much controversy abroad as it has in the United States. Zlatica Hoke has more.
    Video

    Video Drawings by Children in Hiroshima Show Hope and Peace

    On Friday, President Barack Obama will visit Hiroshima, Japan, the first American president to do so while in office. In August 1945, the United States dropped an atomic bomb on the city to force Japan's surrender in World War II. Although their city lay in ruins, some Hiroshima schoolchildren drew pictures of hope and peace. The former students and their drawings are now part of a documentary called “Pictures from a Hiroshima Schoolyard.” VOA's Deborah Block has the story.
    Video

    Video Vietnamese Rapper Performs for Obama

    A prominent young Vietnamese artist told President Obama said she faced roadblocks as a woman rapper, and asked the president about government support for the arts. He asked her to rap, and he even offered to provide a base beat for her. Watch what happened.
    Video

    Video Roots Run Deep for Tunisia's Dwindling Jewish Community

    This week, hundreds of Jewish pilgrims are defying terrorist threats to celebrate an ancient religious festival on the Tunisian island of Djerba. The festivities cast a spotlight on North Africa's once-vibrant Jewish population that has all but died out in recent decades. Despite rising threats of militant Islam and the country's battered economy, one of the Arab world's last Jewish communities is staying put and nurturing a new generation. VOA’s Lisa Bryant reports.
    Video

    Video Meet Your New Co-Worker: The Robot

    Increasing numbers of robots are joining the workforce, as companies scale back and more processes become automated. The latest robots are flexible and collaborative, built to work alongside humans as opposed to replacing them. VOA’s Tina Trinh looks at the next generation of automated employees helping out their human colleagues.
    Video

    Video Wheelchair Technology in Tune With Times

    Technologies for the disabled, including wheelchair technology, are advancing just as quickly as everything else in the digital age. Two new advances in wheelchairs offer improved control and a more comfortable fit. VOA's George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Baby Boxes Offer Safe Haven for Unwanted Children

    No one knows exactly how many babies are abandoned worldwide each year. The statistic is a difficult one to determine because it is illegal in most places. Therefore unwanted babies are often hidden and left to die. But as Erika Celeste reports from Woodburn, Indiana, a new program hopes to make surrendering infants safer for everyone.
    Video

    Video California Celebration Showcases Local Wines, Balloons

    Communities in the U.S. often hold festivals to show what makes them special. In California, for example, farmers near Fresno celebrate their figs and those around Gilmore showcase their garlic. Mike O'Sullivan reports that the wine-producing region of Temecula offers local vintages in an annual festival where rides on hot-air balloons add to the excitement.
    Video

    Video US Elementary School Offers Living Science Lessons

    Zero is not a good score on a test at school. But Discovery Elementary is proud of its “net zero” rating. Net zero describes a building in which the amount of energy provided by on-site renewable sources equals the amount of energy the building uses. As Faiza Elmasry tells us, the innovative features in the building turn the school into a teaching tool, where kids can't help but learn about science and sustainability. Faith Lapidus narrates.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora