Kipchoge, Omanyala, Mariga and stars who switched sports

It’s strange how fortunes change. Most sports stars have come a long way. MacDonald Mariga, the first East African to win Uefa Champions League title, was a boxer, celebrated rally driver Carl Tundo was a golfer, Africa 100m record holder Ferdinand Omanyala was a rugby player, Harambee Stars first choice gollie Patrick Matasi was a volleyballer, Kenyan Sevens top gun Andrew Amonde was a basketballer while Malkia Strikers setter Janeth Wacu was a footballer. The list is long.

While schooling and even after completing Fourth Form, world marathon record holder Eliud Kipchoge loved and played volleyball with his peers.

Although Kipchoge has an unbridled love for tennis, he played volleyball during his childhood.

His agemates at home say he enjoyed volleyball after completing Form Four at Kaptel High School in Nandi County.

Kipchoge stands among Kenya’s top athletes who changed from other sports to athletics.

Nickson Chepseba, a former IAAF Diamond League trophy winner, also switched from volleyball to athletics.

While a student at St Patrick’s High School Iten, Chepseba led his team to nationals in volleyball. During Rift Valley volleyball contests, he battled siblings in former world 400m hurdles champion, the late Nicholas Bett and former Africa 400m hurdles bronze medallist Haron Koech, who were students at Cheptil High School in Nandi County.


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