Kenyatta lauds Team Kenya’s exploits in London World Champs

Kenya's Hellen Onsando Obiri reacts after winning the final of the women's 5000m athletics event ...
Kenya's Hellen Onsando Obiri reacts after winning the final of the women's 5000m athletics event at the 2017 IAAF World Championships at the London Stadium in London on August 13, 2017. / AFP PHOTO / Kirill KUDRYAVTSEV

President Uhuru Kenyatta has congratulated Team Kenya that finished second at the IAAF World Championships in London, concluded on Sunday night, behind overall winner US.

Despite slipping a place lower than the Beijing championship in China, Kenya’s total of 11 medals including 5 gold, two silver and four bronze earned the team praise from the President who described their performance as fantastic.

In Beijing, Kenya bagged 16 medals; seven gold, six silver and three bronze, a time when superstars including 800m Olympic champion David Rudisha who missed the London tour, and quadruple 3000m steeplechase World Champion Ezekiel Kemboi who retired in a disappointing defeat, were enjoying top form.

“I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate our fantastic team in London for the great pride and joy they have given to millions of Kenyans coming second in the World. The races yesterday were fantastic, congratulations Team Kenya,” Kenyatta said on Monday in his first public appearance since his reelection last week.

The President was referring specifically to the women 5000m race won in style by Olympic silver medalist Hellen Obiri, who beat highly rated Almaz Ayana of Ethiopia to gold before Elijah Manangoi dashed to clinch 1500m gold ahead of teammate Timothy Cheruiyot.

The team is expected to return to the country on Tuesday morning, with some athletes expected to remain in London for the Birmingham Diamond League meet on August 20th.

Other gold medal winners are Faith Kipyegon in the women 1500m, Conseslus Kipruto in the men’s’ 3,000m steeplechase and Geoffrey Kirui in the men’s marathon.

Timothy Cheruiyot (1500m) and Edna Kiplagat (marathon) won silver medals for Kenya while Hyvin Kiyeng (3,000m steeplechase), Kipyegon Bett (800m), Paul Tanui and Agnes Tirop (10,000m) won silver.

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