Mucheru, Nyairera feted amid Ruringu Stadium call

Olympics medallists, Boniface Mucheru (3rd left), Margaret Nyairera (left) during their home coming ceremony in ...
Olympics medallists, Boniface Mucheru (3rd left), Margaret Nyairera (left) during their home coming ceremony in Mureru Village. PHOTO/Lilian Wanjiku

Rio 2016 Olympics medallists, Boniface Mucheru and Margaret Nyairera were on Saturday feted in a home coming ceremony held at Mureru Village, Kieni East, Nyeri County.

Mucheru ran a 47.78 national record to take silver behind American Kerron Clement (47.73) to make history as the first Kenyan to medal in the men 400m Hurdles whilst Nyairera (1:56.89) won the women 800m bronze behind South Africa’s Caster Semenya and Burundi Francine Niyonsaba as both marked their Olympics debut in style.

The sleepy village of Mureru came alive when the two athletes and residents were hosted to a feast by area Member of Parliament, Kanini Kega, in honour of their achievements at a ceremony where the County Government led by Governor Nderitu Gachagua was chided for the deplorable condition of Ruringu Stadium, the region’s eminent sporting facility that has been left to rot.

Two-time women’s world marathon champion, Catherine Ndereba, who brought Olympics silver from the Athens 2004 and Beijing 2008 Games accompanied the pair on their lap of honour at home.

“We have tried to find where to train here. I moved to train in Ngong and if it is possible, we are requesting our Governor to negotiate with the Government to see whether we can have a stadium put up here.

“We have Ruringu and Narumoru and if we get a facility then we shall work with many more from this area to train and run,” Mucheru who is also the African 400m Hurdles champion said.

“I tried to train in Ruringu and got injured before I relocated to Ihururu where I’m training in grass. I believe we can get another Nyairera or Mucheru from this place if the stadium is renovated,” the IAAF World Indoor bronze winner and 2014 World Junior champion, Nyairera, echoed.

Ndereba, who is a former world women marathon record holder, four-time Boston and twice Chicago champion led the chorus against the deplorable state of the Ruringu stadium that has also been invaded by Internally Displaced Persons.

“I urge our President and other leaders to continue in helping the construction of stadiums. If there was no Ruringu, Catherine Ndereba would never have been discovered since that is where I used to do my intervals.

“Ruringu was used as a showground but the exhibition was moved to Kabiruini and we are requesting for the title deed of the Stadium to be given to us so that we can inspire the next generation of athletes from this area,” Ndereba who was part of the National Olympics Committee-Kenya delegation to Rio told those gathered.

“Cows are being grazed inside Ruringu but the Stadium was constructed for the athletes to use. President Uhuru Kenyatta promised five stadiums and one of them was Ruringu. We urge those involved to upgrade the stadium immediately,” Kega urged.

Athletics Kenya Nyeri County chairman, Mutahi Kahiga slammed the local administration of offering little support to runners from the region forcing them to migrate elsewhere to pursue their career ambitions.

He also called on the conflict of ownership of the Ruringu facility to be resolved so that stars like Mucheru, Nyairera and their matriarch Ndereba can aid in mentoring and discovering talent in the region.

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Story By Lilian Wanjiku
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