The world’s Greatest Marathoner of All Time, and the World’s Record holder who is also the first person to run a whole-length Marathon under two hours, Eliud Kipchoge, has made a statement concerning the wearing of the Kenyan kit less than a week after he and his colleagues were accorded what has been widely regarded by Kenyans as a low-key, undeserving and poor reception from the government.
Hours ago, Kipchoge, who has largely kept quiet concerning the whole incident took to his Twitter account and wrote,
Eliud Kipchoge – EGHFlag of Kenya
Wearing the Kenyan kit is a source of pride and commitment to collective greatness #PlayNew
This will no doubt come as a relief to Kenyans who had feared that the legendary runner may even consider switching nationalities. From his Tweet, Kipchoge remains as patriotic as ever.
Earlier, Kenyans wondered why Team Kenya, top in Africa and 19th globally, with four gold, four silver and two bronze medals, would not be accorded same treatment or even better than Uganda who ranked 36th worldwide with only two gold and two bronze medals.
To save face, one government official Adnan Wachu, the Kenya Heroes Council chairman, was at JKIA to welcome Jepchirchir and Kosgei and marathoner Lawrence Cherono, who finished fourth in the men’s race.
The three were treated to some traditional songs and dance from Kenya Utamaduni dancers after arriving at around Thursday midnight.
They later drove off under police escort to Ole Sereni hotle for the night and are expected to head home on Friday.
Jepchirchir bagged the gold medal ahead of world marathon record holder Kosgei as Kenya retained the women’s 42km race title in Sapporo on August 7.
Olympic marathon champion Peres Jepchirchir and silver medallist Brigid Kosgei returned home to a warm welcome Thursday night at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport.
It was a complete departure to the low-key welcome other Team Kenya athletes had been accorded.
The warm reception comes days after Kenyans took to social media to express their disappointmment at Sports Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohamed about poor reception accorded to marathon great Eliud Kipchoge and other Tokyo Olympics medallists.
There was a huge outcry from Kenyans especially after Uganda’s medalists got red carpet reception from President Yoweri Museveni.
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