Veteran Athlete from West Pokot to Receive Heroic Send Off


One of the first elite athletes from West Pokot will receive a herioc burial after passing on last week.

Thomas Saisi, 75, a legendary runner from the county, died on March 30 after an illness.

Saisi was known for his heroics in the track in the 1960s and 70s and opened the way for athletes from Pokot to grace the national and international stage.

His mainstay was 800m and was among the pioneer Kenyan elites in the race. He was seventh in the 800m at the 1968 Olympics in Mexico City. He also competed at the 1972 Olympics. His personal best time of 1.46.03 came in September 1971 in Munich.

The veteran athlete will be buried at his Kishaunet farm in West Pokot County on Wednesday.

West Pokot Athletics Kenya chairman
Sammy Ruto aka Skylap said Saisi will get a respectable burial worthy of a hero from Pokot.

“Today we visited the residence of the late Saisi  and we went through some arrangements towards his final send-off programme. The burial ceremony will be on Wednesday April 7 at his Kishaunet  home in Kapenguria,” he said.

Ruto noted that he was saddened by the death of the athlete who raised the Kenyan flag higher during his heydays.

Ruto said that the nation recognised the huge contribution he made in athletics, especially inspiring the younger generation.

“It’s sad we have lost one of the athletes who put Kenya on the limelight in the 60s and he will be remembered for his exploits in various events he participated in. I visited him in Kapenguria County referral hospital on Monday last week in ward six and he was stable,” he said.