Full of wisdom and experience, Olympian Asati challenges athletes to win clean


Full of wisdom and experience, Olympian Asati challenges athletes to win clean
(FILE)Athletes compete in the 10000m men finals during the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games athletics trials at Kasarani stadium in Nairobi on February 17, 2018. Photo/Stafford Ondego/Sportpicha

In Summary

  • Former Olympic champion Charles Asati has challenged active athletes to preserve the identity of Kenya in athletics by shunning doping which has become rampant in the recent past.
  • Asati who is a member of team Kenya that won  gold medal in 4x400m relays at the 1972 Munich Olympics together with Hezekiah Nyamau, Robert Ouko and the late Julius Sang said that the current generation of athletes have developed a culture of ‘taking short-cuts’ unlike during their time when they trained hard and won clean.
  • In 1976, Asati who was in military assumed a coaching role training the youths before finally retiring from the disciplined forces in 1986.

Former Olympic champion Charles Asati has challenged active athletes to preserve the identity of Kenya in athletics by shunning doping which has become rampant in the recent past.

Asati who is a member of team Kenya that won  gold medal in 4x400m relays at the 1972 Munich Olympics together with Hezekiah Nyamau, Robert Ouko and the late Julius Sang said that the current generation of athletes have developed a culture of ‘taking short-cuts’ unlike during their time when they trained hard and won clean.

“A lot has changed when you compare our time and the current crop of athletes. It is unfortunate that some have been found doping which is actually regrettable. You know athletics is a form of employment for these youths but they seem not to understand.

“Some of them argue that we the retired athletes might not have anything to show for. Yes, that might be the case, but why can’t they work hard so that they can benefit on what we missed?” Asati posed.

Prior to winning gold , Asati had won silver medal in 4x400m relays at the 1968 Olympic Games held in Mexico together with Hezekiah Nyamau, the late Naftali Bon and Daniel Rudisha, father to the World 800m record holder David Rudisha.

In 1970, Asati won two gold medals at the Commonwealth Games held in Edinburgh, Scotland in 400m and 4x400m and later settled for a bronze medal in 200m.

Four years later at the Commonwealth Games held in Christchurch, New Zealand, he retained both his gold medals in 400m and 4x400m relays.

Asati also clinched a gold medal in 400m at the 1973 All-Africa Games held in Lagos, Nigeria.

In 1976, Asati who was in military assumed a coaching role training the youths before finally retiring from the disciplined forces in 1986.

In 1970, Asati won two gold medals at the Commonwealth Games held in Edinburgh, Scotland in 400m and 4x400m and later settled for a bronze medal in 200m. PHOTO/Gilbert Kiprotich/CITIZEN

Post-athletics life

After retirement , Asati retreated to his  rural home in Manga, Nyamira County where he embarked on farming.

“I am currently a farmer where I have cultivated tea and coffee and of course not forgetting some bananas (laughs),” said Asati.

The 72-year -old is still active in athletics management and is the vice- chairman of the Athletics Kenya (AK) Nyamira County as well as the vice-chairman of the AK Nyanza South region.

“Even after retiring I am still working to see how we can uplift the sport in my roles as AK vice-Chair Nyamira County and in Nyanza South,” Asati said.

Unsung heroes

Having bagged all those medals for Kenya, Asati opines that little has been done by the previous and current regimes to recognise the sports heroes in the country despite a lot of promises.

“When it comes to that (recognisition) I will not lie to you, nothing much has been done . Some of my colleagues who are still alive like Kipchoge Keino, Daniel Rudisha and even myself have not earned recognition even during national holidays like Mashujaa Day.

I would like to urge the government to consider us in future celebrations so that we can talk to the young generation because they may learn something from us,” said Asati.

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Story By Gilbert Kiprotich
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