Seraphino Antao

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Seraphino Antao became the first Kenyan athlete to win a gold medal when he clinched awards at the 1962 Commonwealth Games in Perth, Australia in the 100 and 220 yards sprints.

Born in Mombasa of Goan parents, Antao grew up in Ganjoni and Makupa estates. While at Goan High School (present-day Sacred Heart High School) he took several sports but inclined towards short distance running in which his superlative achievements would become a rarity in the country. Typically, Kenyans have excelled in the middle and long distances.

He competed at the 1958 Commonwealth Games in Cardiff, Wales, but without much success. He redeemed himself in the 1960 Rome Olympics when he reached semi-finals in the 100 metres dash.

The 1962 Perth Games marked the highest point of his career, when he won the 100 and 220 yards gold medals.

After independence, Kenya participated in the 1964 Olympics in Tokyo, with Antao as the young nation’s first flag bearer. After the Games, he retired and moved to London where he died in September 2011, after a long battle with cancer.