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Kenyan stars share Olympic fairytales

ATHLETICS By Jonathan Komen | May 12th 2021
President National Olympic Committee of Kenya Paul Tergat (left) receiving a dummy cheque worth Sh45Million from John Musunga MD EABL to support Olympic bound athletes at Kasarani stadium on Wednesday, May 11, 2021. [Jonah Onyango, The Standard]

Olympics-bound athletes on Tuesday shared memories on their lifetime dreams to represent the nation at the biggest multi-sport contest.

World marathon champion Ruth Chepngetich said since 2012, it has been her dream to make it to the Summer Games.

“I was challenged when I watched Vivian Cheruiyot double in 5000m and 10000m in London and Rio Olympics,” said Chepngetich.

“I got motivated with her move and told myself that I should go for it. I have won the world Championships and set the world 21km record and I think time is ripe for me to become an Olympic medallist.”

“It was interesting that Vivian was just getting back from maternity leave. I am working hard in training and I am confident we will deliver medals in Tokyo,” said Chepngetich. 

Humphrey Kayange, former national rugby Sevens team captain and deputy Chef de Mission to the Tokyo Games, said he drew inspiration from track legend Kipchoge Keino. 

“I grew up in Eldoret where I watched athletics and had a good feeling of succeeding one day,” said Kayange.

“In 2009, I was part of the team that bid for Shujaa’s campaign into Olympics. I am happy that I am part of this Olympic team,” said Kayange. 

The two spoke on Tuesday when Team Kenya received Sh45 million sponsorship from Kenya Breweries Limited (KBL) through its flagship beer, Tusker. 

Kenya's Ruth Chepngetich competes in the Women's Marathon at the 2019 IAAF World Athletics Championships in Doha on September 27, 2019. (AFP)

KBL are the official partners of Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games that run in Tokyo, Japan, from July 24-August 8. NOC-K President Paul Target said KBL has had a long association with the Olympic body since 2012.

Tergat, the 2000 Olympic 10000m silver medallist, said: “It’s exactly 80 days to men’s 10000m final in Tokyo. We have plenty of talent and expect surprises on July 30.”

He said Team Kenya will comprise more than 90 athletes, way more than the 53 athletes that made the national team to Tokyo Olympics. 

“This is the biggest contingent. We always take at least 50,” he said. 

In a statement read by Secretary of Administration Josphine Onunga, Sports Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohammed said the government is committed to continue working closely with the private sector to bring sports back following challenges occasioned by Covid-19 pandemic.

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