Nandi County governor Stephen Sang has reiterated that his government will build better facilities to help athletes prepare well for international races.
Sang was speaking at a breakfast meeting where he hosted the Berlin Marathon champion and world record holder Eliud Kipchoge, his compatriot Amos Kipruto who came second and women’s champion Gladys Cherono.
“We are really happy to host the world marathon record holder today as a way of appreciation for his brilliant performance. The County Government will continue supporting the athletes in terms of better facilities,” he said.
Sang said that they are building 200 bed Sports complex to be named after Eliud Kipchoge while other facilities will be built and named after Gladys Cherono and Amos Kipruto because of their good performance.
“We are building a new sports complex to be named Eliud Kipchoge Sports Complex which will accommodate the athletes as they train. Kipchoge Keino stadium will not be renamed,” confirmed Sang.
According to Sang, the good performance from Kipchoge and Kipruto confirmed that Nandi County is the undisputed source of champions.
“The fight between Elgeyo Marakwet and Nandi is over now. The contention of who is the great producer of athletes has been confirmed. It is very rare to have such world beaters sitting close like this in the whole world apart from Nandi,” said Sang.
The three athletes were later rewarded with heifers by the County Government.
Kipchoge on his part said that he was grateful for the support he received from the local media on highlighting his preparations before and after the race.
“I really want to thank the County Government for recognizing our good performance in sports. The local media has also done a good job highlighting our stories before and after the race,” said Kipchoge.
The reigning Olympic Marathon champion said that building training facilities will aid their training ahead of major races.
“As athletes we need to work closely with the county government to improve sports in the country and county. The facilities should be of high quality and we thank the governor for showing interest in sports,” added Kipchoge who set a new record of two hours, one minute and 39 seconds in Berlin.
He apologized to his fans for sneaking back home after his good performance in Berlin. The athlete silently flew back to the country last week and there was no entourage to welcome him at the airport as is tradition.
Kipruto said that Kipchoge has motivated him adding that he will working hard to emulate him.
“It was great competing against Kipchoge and coming behind him was a great achievement in my career. I also want to enter history books in future,” said Kipruto.
Keino, who has two stadiums named after him in both Eldoret and Nandi counties, was categorical that the county missed an opportunity to develop the facility.
“After consultations with the International Olympics Committee (IOC), they offered Sh150 million but then some officers from the County didn’t want to provide necessary documentation and the funds were channelled to Uganda,” said the former National Olympic Committee-Kenya (NOC-K) president.
Deputy president William Ruto congratulated the athletes for doing the country proud.
“I want to congratulate the athletes who performed well in Berlin Marathon last week. We are proud to associate with them for carrying the country’s flag high,” said Ruto.