There is a good reason for celebration in the country, which has been denied joy in recent years due to the rising cost of living and other challenges. It is this big show of excellence in sports, which is an area where the country has continued to win global accolades.
Sportsmen and women have always raised the country’s flag high by shining in international competitions, confirming the reputation of world beaters. On Friday night in Italy, Kenya grabbed yet another world record. Double Olympics and world 1,500 metres champion Faith Kipyegon Chepng’etich proved once again that our nation is the home of world-beaters.
Chepng’etich, who missed the world record in the Monaco Diamond League last year by just three-tenths of a second, clocking three minutes, 50.37 seconds to win her race, this time broke the world record by 0.96 seconds. Her victory in the Florence Diamond League set a new record in a jaw-dropping time of 3:49.11.
By shattering the previous record of 3:50.07, which has stood since July 2015, the Kenyan star joined an elite club of some of the world’s greatest athletes in the women’s 1,500m.
The 29-year-old athlete deserves a huge round of congratulations. Her feat comes just nine months after her Global Sports Communication teammate, Eliud Kipchoge, broke his own world marathon record in the 2023 Berlin Marathon in a time of 2:01.09.
Other Kenyan athletes who hold world records include Brigid Kosgei (women’s marathon world record of 2:14:14), and David Rudisha (world 800m record of 1:40.91). These runners are a living testimony that hard work, consistency, dedication and running clean will always be rewarded.
Chepngétich has been a huge inspiration after demonstrating that women can have children, resume their sports and excel. She won the 2016 Rio Olympic Games and 2017 World 1,500m and took a maternity break, before returning to the track to seal a double at the 2022 World Athletics Championships, and in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
Athletics Kenya should enhance the honing of more talent, especially in women’s races. The national and county governments can play their part by improving sports infrastructure across the country. As we celebrate this feat, the country is salivating for more.