Kenya realized her momentous occasion when Jemimah Sumgong wrote history by winning the country the first-ever gold medal in the women marathon during the third day of athletics competitions in the
on-going Olympics Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
Sumgong, also the winner of this year’s edition of London Marathon, ended the country’s drought for the coveted silverware when she out-witted determined Eunice Kirwa, now running for Bahrain, to win
the historic title in 2:24.04, throwing the country into a celebration crescendo on Sunday evening.
The historic marathon conquest had eluded Kenyans in the history of the Games after Catherine Ndereba and Prisca Jeptoo missed the opportunity during the 2004 and 2008 editions in Athens and Beijing.
“This was actually a defining moment for Kenya. Jemimah (Sumgong) has broken the barrier that had kept the country thirsting for this medal that has been missing despite our athletes dominating in all big city marathons. It was a deserving victory,” remarked Coach Joseph Kirwa after watching the race from his house in Kenya.
The victory was celebrated by Kenyans in diverse fashion with majority taking to the social media to heap praises on the athlete for setting the precedence in areas that have never seen Kenyans bag the precious medal.
There were wild celebrations in most North Rift towns like Kapsabet, Nandi Hills, Mosoriot, Eldoret, Kaptagat and Iten after the win that has now rejuvenated the hope of the men’s marathon team of reclaiming Samuel Wanjiru’s 2008 title.
“We are seeing the men’s team of Eliud Kipchoge, Wesley Korir and Stanley Biwott doing even better after this. It has served as an inspiration to them,” said Bro Colm O’Connell, the country’s model of
The marathon gold medal came after Vivian Cheruiyot and Paul Tanui opened Kenya’s medal table with silver medals after the pair finished second in women and men 10,000 metres during the first and second day of athletics action of the Summer Olympics at the Olympic Stadium in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
Cheruiyot and Tanui lost to their unstoppable rivals Almaz Ayana and Mo Farah who have been having an upper hand over the Kenyans in big global competitions.
Kenya is expecting more gold medal this week when Hyvin Kiyeng, Beatrice Chepkoech and lucky Lydia Rotich take command in the women’s 3,000metres steeplechase and ‘King’ David Rudisha shepherd Ferguson Rotich and Alfred Kipketer in the finals of 800metres on Monday.
On Tuesday and Wednesday, more medals would be coming in the finals of women’s 1,500metres and men’s 3,000metres steeplechase, the country’s domain event, with Ezekiel Kemboi, Conseslus Kipruto and Brimin Kipruto leaving nothing to chance.
Media and Communications