What you need to know:
- Kipyegon recalled that before she left the country, she asked her coach who would be capable of breaking the 5,000m world record of 14:06.52.
- “I thought it was a tall order but little did I know that I will be the one to do the great honour...it is amazing,” said Kipyegon.
Double Olympic and world 1,500 metres champion Faith Kipyegon simply broke down in tears.
The 29-year-old mother of one had managed to fulfill her dream and what a place and moment to deliver the promise.
When Kipyegon left for the Florence Diamond League meet in Italy on June 2, she promised her father Samuel Koech, who hails from Ndabibit village in Keringet, Kuresoi South Nakuru County, something.
“When I left for Italy, I promised my father that I would buy him a car if I broke the world record. I did it and I am so happy,” said a teary Kipyegon at State House, Nairobi Tuesday.
“I thought I would buy it from my world record breaking earnings but this is shocking and surprising to me,” Kipyegon said.
“It’s so special and humbling that I can honour my promise, not in Keringet, but at the State House, the most prestigious house on land.”
Kipyegon is the first athlete to benefit from the government’s scheme to reward world record breaking athletes with Sh5 million.
President William Ruto rewarded Kipyegon with Sh 5 million for breaking the 1,500m world record in Florence in a new time of three minutes and 49.11 seconds and further a three-bedroom house worth Sh6m in Park Road, Nairobi, for dismantling the 5,000m world record on June 9 in Paris Diamond League, France.
“I wasn’t expecting this from the Head of State. I am so happy that I can now buy my father his favourite car and own a house in Nairobi too. I never thought I would own a house in the Kenyan capital,” said Kipyegon, as her parents, Samuel and Linah Koech, watched amidst applause from the President and those present.
“I will let dad choose the car he wants,” said Kipyegon, who had just had breakfast with the President alongside colleagues, Commonwealth and Africa 100m champion Ferdinand Omanyala, were 3,000m steeplechase world record holder Beatrice Chepkoech and Commonwealth Games 800m champion, Mary Moraa.
Also in in Kipyegon's company were two-time world cross country champion Geoffrey Kamworor, and the 2017 World marathon champion Geoffrey Kirui.
Kipyegon thanked the government for the initiative and her family- parents, husband Timothy Kitum and daughter Alyen for being her pillar to success.
“You can see my daughter is happy and all over, playing, happy to have met the President and his deputy...you can see that,” said Kipyegon drawing laughter and applause.
“I also want to thank my coach Patrick Sang and those in my Global Sports management for their support and fellow athletes, who agreed to accompany me to celebrate at State House,” said Kipyegon, adding that she couldn’t have made it was it not for the Kenyans, who cheered her at home and in Paris and Florence.
Kipyegon recalled that before she left the country, she asked her coach who would be capable of breaking the 5,000m world record of 14:06.52.
“I thought it was a tall order but little did I know that I will be the one to do the great honour...it is amazing,” said Kipyegon.