As Kenya’s Olympic legend Robert Gwaro Ouko was laid to rest at his Kerarapon Farm, Kajiado County last Friday, mourners, likened his life to a neglected hero.
With ruling-class avoiding the burial ceremony, the mourners mostly comprised the four generations of athletes in the country, the 1970s to 2019.
He was eulogised as a member of 4x400m relay team that won gold for Kenya at the 1972 Munich Olympic Games, it was easier to get Kenya back to medal contention from fifth positions over 47 years ago than trying to seek medical assistance from the government without success.
His death leaves two surviving members of that famous quartet – Charles Asati and Hezekiah Nyamao – as the other team member, Julius Sang, died in 2004.
“My brother couldn’t pass the baton to Sang who had long passed away. He was sprinting alone, he was frail, and the government failed to take the burden away,” said Asati, who had got the famous quartet off in Munich to glory.
“The story of neglect is getting old. We should be waiting until tragedy strikes before we rekindle the topic then going back to our lives afterwards, as a country we have failed,” added Asati, who was the only member of the quartet that made to the burial ceremony. Nyamao, 73, could not attend as his health continues to deteriorate.