Five Kenyan sportsmen to celebrate on International Men's Day

By Brian George: Tuesday, November 19th 2019 at 16:33 GMT +3 | Sports
Today is International Men's Day.  [Courtesy]

It’s the International Men’s Day. A day marked to reflect on the contributions of men to the society in all aspects.

These contributions include but not limited to, men working with women to jointly to achieve economic, social, educational, political and technological advances in the society today.

Its origin dates 20 years back when it was first held in the Trinidad and Tobago on November 19, 1999. Although it is not an official United Nations day, it is observed by many countries to appreciate men who are role models worldwide.

In Kenya, sportsmen have recorded exemplary performance this year. Here are some who pushed themselves to the limits to make everyone believe anything is possible:

Eliud Kipchoge

Eliud Kipchoge [Courtesy]

Arguably the most celebrated athlete this year, Kipchoge stunned the whole world when he broke his own marathon record - running under two hours in the INEOS Challenge staged in the peaceful city of Vienna, Austria on October 12. The 34-year-old Nandi native ran 26.2 miles (42kilometres) in 1hour 59minutes 40seconds.

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Even with his exploits, the fame and the money it earned him, the endorsements, mentions and commendations from former U.S President Barrack Obama and Kenya’s President Uhuru Kenyatta, Kipchoge leads a private life characterised by supernatural humility. He ‘disappointed’ many by quietly sneaking into the country and retreating to his Eldoret home.

Kipchoge said: "I am feeling good. After Roger Bannister in 1954 it took another 63 years, I tried and I did not get it - 65 years, I am the first man - I want to inspire many people, that no human is limited."

After achieving such a feat, one would be tempted to quit the craft, retire and enjoy their hard-earned money in travel and other forms of merrymaking. Well, Eliud still wakes up early to practice, a consistent show of his discipline.

Conseslus Kipruto

Conseslus Kipruto celebrates after winning the 3000 Men's Steeplechse final at the World Athletics Championships in Doha  [Courtesy]

World, Africa and Olympic champion Conseslus Kipruto also made a name for himself this year at the World Athletic Championships in Doha, Qatar on October 4, 2019.

The 24-year-old defended his Men's 3000 Metres Steeplechase Final in miraculuous fashion, crossing the finish line just 0.01 seconds ahead of Ethiopia’s rising star Lamercha Germa.

Geoffrey Kamworor

Geoffrey Kamworor [Courtesy]

Kenyan half marathon world record holder Geoffrey Kamworor followed in his training partner’s (Eliud Kipchoge) when he powered his way to win the New York Marathon in in two hours eight minutes and 13 seconds.

Kamworor also won the Copenhagen Half Marathon with a time of 58:01, on Sunday, September 15.

Kenya Rugby 7s Team

The Kenya Rugby Sevens team qualified for the 2020 Olympic Games [Courtesy]

The Kenya men’s rugby Sevens team, Shujaa qualified for the 2020 Olympic Games after reclaiming the Africa Sevens title with a 31-0 win over Uganda in Johannesburg, South Africa on Saturday.

Shujaa, coached by New Zealander Paul Feeney, became the second Kenyan team to book a slot at the Summer Games following in the footsteps of their women counterparts, the Lionesses, who punched the ticket to the quadrennial event last month.

Michael 'Engineer' Olunga

Michael 'Engineer' Olunga celebrates after scoring the second goal against Tanzania in the Africa Cup Of Nations [Courtesy]

The Kenyan-born-Japanese League footballer has had a year of continuous triumphs. First off, his exemplary performance at the African Cup of Nations tournament held in Cairo, Egypt. ‘Engineer’, ashe’s well known, scored two beauties against neighbours Tanzania in a group match, helping guide Harambee Stars to a famous 3-2 win.

Olunga was also instrumental for his club Kashiwa Reysol at the Japanese League, with a total of 25 goals to his name.

The former Girona forward managed to bag a hat-trick in when Kashiwa Reysol beat Renofa Yamaguchi on August 10 and was also voted the man of the match. Olunga, 25, was named August Player of the month in the Japanese Division Two League.

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