Alastair Aitken
Alastair Aitken
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Kenya's First 'Great' Sprinter - Serapheno Antao

Serapheno Antao, age 73, died recently in London. Many may not know he was called by his nickname 'Kelly' by all those that he was friends with in the UK. As he was a Goanese Indian, who ran for Kenya, he made some excellent currys in the 1970's at his flat in South Kensington! He presented the prizes at one of the Highgate Harrier's funcitons when Clive Cope was the social secretary for Highgate Harriers...
I was introduced to 'Kelly' in a London pub in High Street Kensington by Peter Hildreth in 1967.
   I can remember Antao, despite being a semi-finalist in the Olympics of 1960 and double Commonwealth Champion 100/200 in 1962  he felt, his best competitive result was winning in Lausanne in 1962, where he beat a loaded field of 'World class' 100m men. He also felt, of course having run on cinders, that the improvement in World records in the sprints would mainly come through faster tracks. How right he was!.
The result of the Brtish Empire and Comonwealth Finals in Perth, Australia in 1962 for the medals were:- 100yards
1 Serapheno Antao (Kenya ) 9.5; 2 Tom Robiinson (Bahamas) 9.6; 3. Gary Holdsworth (Australia) 9.6.
220 yards Seraphino Antao (Kenya) 20.9, equalling the Games record, 2 David Jones (England) 21.4, 3 J. Du Preez (Rhodesia) 21.5. In that Peter Norman of Australia was sixth. He went on to gain the Olympic silver in the Mexico Olympics. Antao ran a 9.4 in Kampala in August of 1963 and a 20.7- 200 in in Nairobi and, 20.6 in 1962 and, a 9.3 100yards back in 1960, also in Nairobi..He won the AAA's 100/220 in 1962 at the White City Stadium.

Alastair Aitken

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