Leaders unhappy with low key return of athletes from Japan

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Peres Chepchichir, a gold medal winner in Marathon race in the recently concluded Olympics held in Tokyo, Japan being flanked by leaders and fans at Eldoret International Airport after jetting back from Tokyo. PHOTO/County Government of Uasin Gishu Press.

Leaders from North Rift are unhappy with the way athletes were received in the country after the Olympics event in Tokyo, Japan.

Uasin Gishu deputy governor Daniel Chemno and his Nandi counterpart, Dr. Yuliter Chepotip Cheruiyot said that the athletes deserved a better reception.

They blamed the Ministry of Sports and Culture for making the return a low key event.

“There were no officials from the ministry and even Athletics Kenya at the airport. This is demoralizing the spirits of athletes in our country,” said Chemno.

According to Chemno, Uganda received their athletes well.

Ugandan athletes were even giving presents and appraisals.

“We are now asking officials who accompanied the athletes to Tokyo to apologise to the athletes.

They have actually disrespected them very much,” said Chemno.

Chemno said the manner in which the athletes are treated in the country has forced some of them to change their citizenship to other countries.

He noted that many steeplechase athletes come from the Kenya Defense Forces and the Kenya Police Services where they have resources to train.

However, he said lately the government does not recruit officers who are going to run for the various security forces.

Dr. Cheruiyot reiterated that athletes puts the country in the limelight and a cordial reception is mandatory.

“We are proud of our athletes as a county,” he said.

Nandi county won two golds one from Peres Chepchirchir and Eliud Kipchoge.

Addressing press at Eldoret International Airport, Chepchirchir thanked her fans and the family for their support.

She asked the leaders and the government to offer support to athletes so that success can be realised in athletics.

“I want to ask government officials and political leaders to pool resources together for betterment of athletics,” she said.

She said most training facilities needed a face-lift.

In Uasin Gishu County, Kipchoge Stadium was to host the Under 20 championship but the venue was moved to Nairobi since its still under construction.

Kenya took position 19 globally.

The country won a total of of 10 medals; 4 gold, 4 silver, and 2 bronze.

The medals came through Eliud Kipchoge who received a gold medal, Emmanuel Korir won gold in 800M, Faith Kipyegon won gold in 1500m women race and Peres Chepchirchir who won gold in women’s marathon.

Timothy Cheruiyot received silver medal in men’s 1500 metres, Ferguson Rotich came Second in 800 metres, receiving silver medal as Helleni Obiri won a Silver medal in the 5000 metres women.

Brigid Kosgei received a Silver medal in Women’s Marathon.

Others included Hyvin Kiyeng and Benjamin Kigen who won bronze medals in the 3000 metres in women and men category respectively.

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