Athletics legend Rose Tata Muya who represented Kenya in 400 meters huddles has lauded Harambee Stars Head Coach Engin Firat for going out of his way to support Kenyan sports in general, despite his main mandate being the national men football team.
The Harambee stars tacgtician was instrumental in the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between the Turkish Athletics Federation and Athletics Kenya, that will see the two entities work together to realize greater goals.
“Turkey and Kenya are friendly countries that are very close to each other. In fact, Kenyan-born athletes have a big share in the success of Turkish athletics in recent times,” Rose Tata Muya said.
She added: “We want to turn this closeness into a good cooperation. This can be at the youth level or elite athlete level with all kinds of program sharing. Camps can be held in the two countries. Let us help each other to reach the top in world athletics. I would like to thank Engin Firat, the head coach of the Kenya national football team. In addition to what he is doing with our national team, he helped the athletics federations of the two countries to come into close contact again as a volunteer sports ambassador.”
Tata said she was anticipating good cooperation between the two federations. Tata Muya is a retired Kenyan athlete specialising in 400m hurdles. She won medals at continental level and competed at the Olympics, World Championships and Commonwealth Games.
Tata-Muya was only 14 when she participated in her first international championships, the 1974 Commonwealth Games, where she achieved two 8th places: in the 800 metres race and as a part of the Kenyan 4×400 metres relay team. Four years later, she took part again at the Commonwealth Games reaching 800 metres semifinals.
Tata-Muya got two silver medals from the 1979 African Championshionships (400 m hurdles and 800 m). She is also a 400 m hurdles bronze medalist from the 1982 African Championships. In 1980 she took various events at the Commonwealth Games, the best result being 7th place with the Kenyan 4 × 400 m relay team. Her first global event were the inaugural world championships in 1983, where she did not get past 400 metres hurdles heats She was the only Kenyan woman athlete in Helsinki, and is thus the first Kenyan woman to compete at the world championships.
At the 1987 All-Africa Games in Nairobi, she won silver over 400 m hurdles. The same year she took part at the 1987 world championships, where she reached the 400 metres hurdles semifinals. She competed at the 1988 Summer Olympics, but did not get past 400 metres heats. Two years later she made her last Commonwealth games appearance, finishing 9th in the 400 m hurdles.