Eliud Kipchoge goes viral as fallen hero, Samuel Wanjiru is remembered

Kenya's Eliud Kipchoge celebrates after winning the Men's Marathon athletics event of the Rio 2016 Olympic ...
Kenya's Eliud Kipchoge celebrates after winning the Men's Marathon athletics event of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games at the Sambodromo in Rio de Janeiro on August 21, 2016. OLIVIER MORIN / AFP

Immediately Eliud Kipchoge clinched gold at the 2016 Olympic Games, plaudits started pouring in for the marathon hero, with Kenyans, both locally and abroad, basking in the 32-year old’s heroics.

Kipchoge was the top trending topic on twitter with thousands of people taking to the social media site to shower praise on the two-time marathon winner.

President Uhuru Kenyatta and his Deputy President William Ruto led their countrymen in congratulating Kipchoge for his stunning performance in Rio that gave the country its sixth gold medal at the Games.

“A memorable close to #Rio2016 with Marathon Gold for @EliudKipchoge. Stand Tall. We are very proud of you and Team #KEN #ShangiliaKenya,” the Commander-in-Chief tweeted.

“Stunning run by @EliudKipchoge on his way to winning #Gold in the men’s marathon at #Rio2016 Olympics,” his Deputy added, all the way from Malindi.

First Lady Margaret Kenyatta, who inspired multitudes all round the world two years ago when she crossed the London Marathon finish line after traversing the 42 kilometer journey, also joined in lauding the gold medallist.

‏ “Very well done Eliud Kipchoge. Congratulations. #ShangiliaKenya #OlympicGames #Athletics #Rio2016,” she wrote in response to her husband’s tweet.

‏Local Comedian, Daniel ‘Churchill’ Ndambuki added his name to the fray, calling for his fellow Kenyans to join him in applauding their hero.

“Eliud Kipchoge makes it #Gold! #RIO2016 #Olympics join me in congratulating superb #TeamKenya Grand finale finish!” he added.

#ShangiliaKenya was the preferred hash tag used by most to convey their appreciative message and within a few minutes, it had slowly risen up the trends list.

While most lavished praise on the athlete, a select few resorted to humor.

“Well done #TeamKenya. & the gender balance push is not a myth! #KEN #ShangiliaKenya #HotbedofChampions #Rio2016,” @PNyaikamba added, alluding to Kenya’s triumph in both the men’s and women’s marathon.

Kipchoge was the second Kenyan to claim the men’s marathon title after the late Samuel Wanjiru won the hearts of many in the 2008 Beijing Games and his exploits would not be quickly forgotten with a large multitude paying tribute to the fallen legend.

“Congratulations #Rio2016 marathon champion Eliud Kipchoge! Thanks for keeping Samuel Wanjiru legacy alive!!” @Waudium tweeted.

‏ “Just as he promised @EliudKipchoge honours the late Samuel Wanjiru in style by winning the Olympic #marathon #gold medal. #Rio2016 #TeamKenya,” another post read.

“In memory of #SamuelWanjiru, we know you are smiling in heaven,” Triza Wairegi emotionally wrote.

“The spirit of Samuel Wanjiru can now rest in peace! #Rio2016,” Mutahi Wahome beautifully summed it up.

On Facebook tributes flowed in from all walks of life.

The Ambassador of Kenya to Pakistan, Prof Julius Bitok took to the social media site to congratulate the recently crowned champion in a short post.

“Congratulations Eliud kipchoge for winning Marathon at Rio 2016. ‪#‎Gold,” he simply put.

“Hongera Eliud Kipchoge for winning Gold in the Men’s Marathon and ensuring Kenya’s anthem is the last to be played at Rio 2016 Olympics. You are a true champion. We celebrate you,” Barnabas Kiplagat Boit wrote.

“That Olympic moment when gold medallist Eliud Kipchoge asked the Ethiopian to take the lead…that was the closest moment he came close to Kipchoge the rest is history. What sportsmanship from Eliud,” an elated Jamit Bolt Wandera added.

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Story By Eric Kagunda
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