Sang: We won't phase out Kipchoge Keino's name

By Rael Jelimo: Wednesday, September 19th 2018 at 00:04 GMT +3 | Athletics
MARK KIPTARBEL TOO MEMORIAL SERVICE Nandi Hills Senator Stephen Sang during the funeral service of the late Mark Too. PHOTO:WILBERFORCE OKWIRI

Sports director says they expect county assembly to approve the naming

‘We won’t phase out Kipchoge Keino’s name’

Governor Sang says they have no plans to change Kipchoge Keino Stadium’s name.

Nandi Governor Stephen Sang yesterday said they will not rename Kipchoge Keino Stadium in Kapsabet to Eliud Kipchoge Stadium.

The legendary Kipchoge Keino, he claimed, is the father of Kenya’s athletics and there are no plans to rename the sporting facility.

Sang, who spoke to The Standard in his office yesterday, said plans were underway to construct a sports complex in Kapsabet and will be named Eliud Kipchoge Sports Complex.

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“I hereby clarify that Kipchoge Keino Stadium in Kapsabet will not be renamed; athletics legend Kipchoge Keino is a highly respected man in Nandi County and his name will not be phased out,” said Sang.

“We have started construction works for a new sports complex in Kapsabet at a cost of Sh100 million and it will be named after world record holder Eliud Kipchoge,” he said.

The sports complex, which is set for completion in September 2019, has a 200-bed residential training camp, a gymnasium, arts studio, a swimming gallery; among other sporting facilities.

Sang revealed that they were planning to construct a modern training facility and renovate Kipchoge Keino Stadium. 

“Nandi prides itself as the source of athletics champions and we will harness our branding strength through our champions like Eliud Kipchoge, Amos Kipruto among others,” said Sang.

Construction works on the Kapsabet Kipchoge Keino Stadium are still ongoing after the former Nandi administration initiated a process to revamp the stadium.

The stadium had been neglected for many years and will soon get a facelift with perimetre wall, VIP stand and changing rooms.

Kennedy Tanui, Nandi County Sports Director, said naming of the new facility is in legislation process and the proposal has been forwarded to the County Assembly for approval.

“The naming of the facility is still a policy and has to be approved, once it passes that stage, it will be confirmed. It will not be the first time we as a county are giving the names to our sports heroes, we already have Wilfred Bungei and Pamela Jelimo roads. The construction is at an advanced stage, it will be ready for operation in late next year or early 2020,” said Tanui.

Meanwhile, Kenyan runner Joseph Kiprono Kiptum was hit by a car as he was leading a half marathon in Colombia.

Kiprono, 30, was nearing the finish line in Medellin when he was struck by a vehicle which had apparently ignored a street closure.

The athlete was treated at the roadside and taken to hospital with cuts and bruises and has now been discharged in “good health”.

Kiprono’s compatriot Daniel Muindi Muteti won the elite race in 1:03:45.

Race organisers said: “Joseph Kiprono was brought in by the emergency staff of the Medellin Marathon.

“The patient is stable, has multiple contusions and abrasions in soft tissues, has no fractures of any kind, and orthopaedic doctors reviewed him, he is in good health and is out of danger. “

Kiprono won the event in Colombia’s second city in 2015.

Race organisers also confirmed a 38-year-old amateur runner, Juan Camilo Arboleda, died after collapsing with heart problems at the finish line.

Elsewhere, Elijah Kemboi and Mercy Kibarus, among the favoured runners in the Blackmores Sydney Marathon, duly delivered a double victory for Kenya in the IAAF Gold Label road race on Sunday.

Kemboi broke a run of three successive wins by Japanese athletes in taking the men’s race while Kibarus produced the third-fastest winning women’s time on the Sydney course, which starts with an up-and-over run over Sydney Harbour Bridge and produces several other tough challenges along the route to the finish at the Opera House.

Favouritism is often a heavy burden in a marathon, but Kemboi and Kibarus bore the mantle lightly. Each had seen off their closest rivals by the 35-kilometre point and ran to victory unchallenged over the final stages.

Kibarus had finished third in the women’s race last year, the pack opting to stick together as Makda Harun made a winning move approaching the exit from Centennial Park near the 20-kilometre mark.

This time it was Kibarus and Eunice Jeptoo who pushed hard.

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