After Okpekpe race heroics, Cheprot wants true win

Tuesday, September 10th, 2019 00:00 |
Simon Cheprot helps opponent and countryman Kenneth Kipkemoi after the latter had collapsed near the finishing line of the Okpekpre Road Race in Nigeria in May. Photo/FILE

The world was treated to an act of kindness in May when Kenyan long-distance runner Simon Cheprot lost the Okpekpe International 10km Road Race in Nigeria to rescue a collapsed rival.

Cheprot was about to cross the finishing line when he noticed his opponent and countryman Kenneth Kipkemoi collapsing. He immediately stopped, lifted him up and dragged him to the finish line before summoning medics.

He lost the race but won the hearts of many across the world as a true definition of sportsmanship, earning Sh1.5 million from organisers. 

Having put that behind him, Cheprot is now targeting a proper victory on the road after signing up for the Copenhagen half marathon set to take place in Denmark this Sunday.

“I have not competed in any race since I came from Nigeria and I am focused on improving my personal best in half marathon,” said Cheprot.

“This will be my second time on the Copenhagen course and I want to get a good time so that I am in contention for a slot in Team Kenya to the World Half Marathon next year,” added Cheprot, who was part of Kenya’s 2016 World Half Marathon team in Cardiff, Wales.

Speaking after being honoured by Bank of Africa in Iten, Elgeyo Marakwet at the weekend, Cheprot narrated why he felt the need to help a fellow athlete. 

“I saw him struggling to stand up and that is when I stopped to help him. It is unbelievable but you cannot see your fellow runner falling and just pass because you want to win. It is good to stop and help because we do not run for money but for unity, health and love,” said Cheprot.

More on News