Chemos over the moon but rues golden Berlin moment

Milcah Chemos (second right) runs alongside banned Russian cheat, Yuliya Zaripova (right) in the women 3000...
Milcah Chemos (second right) runs alongside banned Russian cheat, Yuliya Zaripova (right) in the women 3000m steeplechase final at the Daegu 2011 IAAF World Championships in South Korea. PHOTO/IAAF/FAP

As the news that Milcah Chemos had finally been recognized as the bona fide Berlin 2009 world 3000m steeplechase champion reached her, she could barely hide her delight.

But as she prepares to finally lay hands on the gold medal that should long have been in her possession, the 30-year-old reveals hers has been a gritting seven-year wait for justice.

As she narrated to Citizen Digital on Sunday, Chemos reiterated she always had a gut feeling nothing but gold was the rightful reward for the 9:08.57 time she clocked – her lifetime best – but which had never been fast enough to beat Russia’s Yuliya Zaripova.

Chemos’ only regret is that Zaripova – who was stripped after failing a retroactive drugs test – stole what would have been a ‘wonderful moment’ for herself. And for her family back in Mt. Elgon District.

“It’s really sad. Imagine missing the opportunity for the national anthem being played in your honour but all the same everything that is done in the darkness finally comes to light and I’m happy for that. Everything will fade away but the one thing that will remain is that I ran clean race.

“I’m very happy that God has paid for the hard work I put during my training. I pray that I come out stronger at next year’s London championships. I shall be doing the 5000m event and if it does not go as planned I go for the 10000m,” Chemos stated.

She will not recover the extra added ons that come with winning the title; including a medal bonus from the sporting apparel company Nike and 40,000 USD (Ksh4,065,200) in prize money but she maintains getting her confidence back is more important.

The Athletics Kenya (AK) athletes’ representative advised elite and upcoming athletes to avoid shortcuts, urging them to strive to compete fairly while warning that doping has adverse effects

Lieutenant General (RTD) Jackson Tuwei received the medal from IAAF president Lord Sebastian Coe on her behalf during the IAAF Special Congress dinner in Monaco.

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Story By Charity Wanja
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