G.O.A.T Kipchoge flown to Mombasa to be feated at Mashujaa Day celebrations, Brigid and Obiri also lined-up for awards
Olympic marathon gold medalist and world record holder Eliud Kipchoge has been lined-up for recognition during today’s Mashujaa Day celebrations to be presided over by President Uhuru Kenyatta at the Mama Ngina Drive grounds in Mombasa.
Kipchoge who sent shockwaves through the world of sport last week and put Kenya’s name on the global map after the became the first athlete to run a marathon in less than two hours during the INEOS 1:59 Chellenge in Vienna, Austria, was flown from Eldoret airport to Mombasa yesterday by a Kenya Forest Service plane to attend the ‘Heroes’ Day celebrations that honours Kenyans who have contributed to the development of the country in one way or the other.
Kipchoge who clocked 1 hour, 59 minutes and 40.2 seconds at the INEOS 1:59 Challenge, an event set up for the attempt, was accompanied by his long time coach Patrick Sang.
Running at an average pace of 2:50 minutes per kilometer, Kipchoge was 11 seconds ahead of schedule halfway through his run. He then maintained his tempo until the pacemakers left him for the final 500 meters, where he sped up.
“I was really calm, I was just trying to maintain the pace,” said Kipchoge after the historic race, adding he was never in doubt about breaking the barrier. “For me it was not 50-50, it was 90 percent.”
It was his second attempt at breaking the two-hour barrier, after missing out by 26 seconds at a similar event on the Formula One track in Monza, Italy, in May 2017.
Kipchoge, who took Olympic gold in Rio de Janeiro in 2016 and has won 10 of his 11 marathons, holds the official world record of 2:01:39 since shattering the previous best mark by 78 seconds in Berlin last year. In near-perfect circumstances at the meticulously planned attempt, he shaved almost two minutes off that time.
Brigid Kosgei who who also shattered 16-year old Paula Radcliffe’s women marathon record last Sunday, has been lined up for an award today and so is World and Cross Country champion Hellen Obiri.
“We have been invited for the Mashujaa Day celebrations and as we speak, we are already in Mombasa after traveling from Eldoret yesterday,” Kosgei’s coach Eric Kimaiyo told People Sport on phone.
Kosgei 25, ran a time of 2:14:04 to win the Chicago marathon and in the process beat the old record set by Radcliffe in 2003 by 81 second.
Obiri also confirmed to People Sport that she had received an invite for the event, but said she would not manage to attend as she was attending to family issues in Kisii. Previous sports personalities who have been honoured during Mashujaa Day celebrations include former Harambee Stars striker Peter Dawo, John Bobby Ogolla, Mohamud Abass, Joe Kadenge, former world 400m hurdles champion Nicholas Bett who perished in a road accident last year, former world javeline champion Julius Yego, athletes Catherine Ndereba, Janet Jepkosgei, Lukas Wandia, Rose Tata Muya and Vivian Cheruiyot, boxers Suleiman Bilali, Stephen Muchoki and Omar Khasongo, Maurice Odumbe of cricket and David Rudisha’s father Daniel Rudisha.