Global leaders and organisations yesterday united in celebrating world marathon record holder Eliud Kipchoge after he smashed the two-hour barrier by 20 seconds.
English football club, Manchester City, congratulated Kipchoge saying, “Sporting history made! Absolutely incredible!”
Congratulatory messages jammed newsrooms as well, including from President Uhuru Kenyatta, who had phoned Kipchoge on the eve of the race to wish him success.
“Hearty congratulations. You’ve done it, you’ve made history and made Kenya proud while at it. Your win today will inspire tens of future generations to dream big and to aspire for greatness. We celebrate you and wish you God’s blessings,” said President Kenyatta.
Deputy President William Ruto also commended Kipchoge for the heroic race.
“This is Kenya’s landmark moment to attest that it is an athletics powerhouse. A blistering 1.59.40!” he said.
Ruto led a Kenyan delegation, including his wife Rachel, governors Stephen Sang (Nandi) and Jackson Mandago (Uasin Gishu), to Vienna to offer the marathoner moral support.
Former Prime Minister Raila Odinga also applauded Kipchoge for his feat.
“This is the stuff of history. You (Kipchoge) captured the imagination of the whole world before this great feat and it will continue for a long time,” said Raila.
Baringo Senator Gideon Moi sent his congratulatory message as well.
“For running under two hours, Eliud Kipchoge has become the new Neil Armstrong of the 21st century. He has lived true to the fact that no man is limited,” said Moi.
“Kenya is now at the top of the world, the same way US became the first country in the world to have its citizen land on the moon in 1969. Eliud will inspire generations to come. This is a record that will remain with us for long,” added Moi.
Sports Cabinet secretary Amina Mohammed said Kipchoge’s win was commendable.
“Kipchoge has set the bar very high and athletes the world over now have a new standard that will take marathons to an entirely new level moving into the future,” she said.
Former vice president Kalonzo Musyoka said Kipchoge has done Kenya and Africa proud.
“All Kenyans, regardless of their ethnic backgrounds, watched him run, and celebrated his success. Let us keep the unity and build Kenya for all of us and not view others through tribal lenses,” he said.
Kirinyaga Governor Anne Kamotho echoed Kalonzo's sentiments, saying every so often something happens that reminds us that despite our myriad of differences, we are one people, one nation and one humanity.
“Kipchoge’s win confirms that we are the limit to our achievements. May his feat encourage us to achieve the ultimate of ourselves and our motherland,” said the governor.
“May Kipchoge’s discipline, endurance and humility bring out our best natures. This is the least we owe to his amazing achievement. He is a true sports legend,” she added.