Former athletics star Kataron triumphs in Eldoret golf series

Standard Group Editor in Chief Ochieng Rapuro (left) congratulates Cyrus Kataron after he was named the overall winner of the Standard County Golf Classic Series at the par 71 Eldoret Club in Uasin Gishu County on Saturday. Looking is defending champion Anika Patel. June 8, 2024. [Peter Ochieng, Standard]

After turning to golf five months ago, former World Junior 5000m men’s bronze medallist Cyrus Kataron can now afford a smile in the gentleman’s sport.

This was after he fired 39 stableford points to emerge the winner in the Standard County Golf Classic Series held at the Eldoret Club at the weekend.

His first victory in the game, which saw him floor other 106 contestants to the gong, has taken Kataron,46, over the moon.

“I was recently introduced to the game by former Elgeyo Marakwet Governor Alex Tolgos. Tolgos has been like a coach and mentor to me. Following this victory, I can say embracing golf is the best decision I’ve ever made in my life,” Kataron said.

The former Senior World Cross Country Championship ace attributed his victory at the pristine Eldoret Club to an intense one-month preparations he had on the range before embarking on any major contest.

“I hit countless balls on the course to perfect my shots, but what motivated me was the batch that I had on the course, the group was composed of Tolgos and former tournament winner Wesley Kiprono.”

Seasoned players

“Because I was slotted among these seasoned players, I was so determined to beat them, and I’m glad it happened.”

The handicap 26-hard hitter said he will continue with the same spirit of practicing as he prepares for future tournaments.

Just like Tolgos, who came with his wife, daughter and son to the tournament, Kataron has plans to introduce his family to the sport, saying golf has helped him not only with fitness, but to expand his social capital through networking.

“This is a good tournament that is helping to create awareness about environmental conservation, this contest should be held more and more in Eldoret to remind us of the importance of greening our surrounding.”

In his hey-days as an international athlete, Kataron bagged bronze in men’s 5000m in Santiago, Chile during the 2000 World Junior Championships, finishing behind the legendary Kenenisa Bekele of Ethiopia and his Kenyan compatriot and race winner Gordon Mugi.

Kataron finished fourth at the 2001 Senior World Cross Country Championship in Oostende, Belgium before incessant injuries drove him out of athletics, forcing him to embrace business and farming for a living. “Our partnership in this tournament with other sponsors goes beyond measure,” said Standard Group PLC Editor-In-Chief Ochieng Rapuro.

By AFP 2 hrs ago
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