Iten leaps for joy as Kenya rule London
- As is the norm whenever there is a big race in the globe, business comes to a standstill in Iten town, Elgeyo Marakwet County as athletics faithful-who are the majority take to screens to follow the proceedings.
- On Sunday, it was a similar case as athletes and fans alike in the 'Home of Champions' thronged the Keelu Resort in the outskirts of Iten town to follow the 2019 London Marathon in an event organised by the Bank of Africa.
As is the norm whenever there is a big race in the globe, business comes to a standstill in Iten town, Elgeyo Marakwet County as athletics faithful — who are the majority take to the huge screens mounted to follow the proceedings.
Sunday was no diiffent either as athletes and fans alike in the ‘Home of Champions’ thronged the Keelu Resort in the outskirts of Iten town to follow the 2019 London Marathon in an event organised by the Bank of Africa.
The effort by the mammoth crowd was not in vain though as two of their daughters – Brigid Kosgei and Vivian Cheruyot – clinched the first and second position respectively in the women category, earning Elgeyo Marakwet County the bragging rights in the battle of counties that also includes Nandi and Uasin Gishu where the majority of the athletes hails from.
Afterwards, it was song and dance as fan favourite Eliud Kipchoge pulled out of the Ethiopian duo Mosinet Geremew and Mule Wasihun enroute to clinching his fourth title in the English capital.
Even as the fans expressed their joy following the win, athletes and coaches expressed concern about Kenya’s future in the 42km race when Kipchoge decides to call time on his glittering career as no other Kenyan made it to the podium other than him!
“It was a great race and win for Kenya because it is actually not easy to win in London. It also not easy to win four times and I congratulate the winners Brigid and Eliud,” said Nahashion Kibon, a former athlete turned coach.
“We are happy as athletes from Iten to have Brigid and Vivian who put in a good show today. I also congratulate Kipchoge for yet another great performance. I am however concerned that he was left to battle with the Ethiopians alone. I therefore urge coaches to continue churning new blood who can compete in future,” said another athlete, James Lelit.
“I wish to congratulate all our athletes who competed in today’s race. It was a good show from them. Kipchoge once again showed why he is the World record holder by winning his fourth title,”said Josephat Rotich, Administration Police coach.
Kipchoge not only defended his title but bagged a fourth gong in a course record of 2 hours two minutes and 37 seconds, erasing the previous record of 2:03:05 he set in 2016.
On the other hand, Kosgei – the Chicago Marathon champion clocked 2:18:20 as she upstaged defending champion Vivian Cheruiyot who finished second in 2:20:14 with Ethiopia’s Roza Dereje closing the podium in 2:20:51.
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