What you need to know:
- Joining the fans for the watch party was German ambassador to Kenya Sebastian Groth and his host, Uasin Gishu Governor Bii, who followed the action up to the last minute
- As Kipchoge was destroying the Berlin field, Eka Hotel in Eldoret was unveiling the “Wall of Fame” as one way of celebrating Kenya’s athletics champions
- Two-time Olympics 1,500m champion Faith Kipyegon who graced the short ceremony at the hotel, said she was happy that the hotel came up with a good project that will identify with the champions
Eldoret came to a standstill on Sunday with thousands of fans following the Berlin Marathon in a street party organised by the Nation Media Group with the big screen located at the Uganda Road-Iten Road junction beaming the action live.
Athletics fans arrived early ahead of the 10.15am start and were keen to see how the race would unfold in the end through the NTV live broadcast.
Joining the fans for the watch party was German ambassador to Kenya Sebastian Groth and his host, Uasin Gishu Governor Bii, who followed the action up to the last minute.
There was a lot of excitement when Kipchoge took an early lead and when the pacesetters dropped after the 30km mark, the crowd broke to song and dance as they waited for the G.O.A.T. to cross the line.
Some of the sponsors who came on board at the memorable NTV viewership party included the German Embassy, Eka Hotel, NCBA Bank, Isuzu East Africa, Hisense Kenya, Safaricom and the Anti-doping Agency of Kenya (ADAK).
Dancan Muhindi, the Communications Manager at Isuzu East Africa, said the motor company was delighted to join athletic fans in Eldoret to witness another exciting Berlin Marathon.
“We have come not only to cheer our Kenyan heroes to victory, but it’s a great opportunity to display the Eliud Kipchoge special limited edition D-Max pickup that we unveiled this year in his honor.
“As Isuzu East Africa, we are confident that our brand ambassador Eliud Kipchoge will deliver a special victory for the country,” said Muhindi ahead of the race.
And as Kipchoge was destroying the Berlin field, Eka Hotel in Eldoret was unveiling the “Wall of Fame” as one way of celebrating Kenya’s athletics champions.
The Eka Hotel’s “Wall of Fame” is a unique and exciting initiative that sees portraits of world-beating Kenyan stars displayed on a wall at the hotel’s third-floor reception.
The “Wall of Fame” was unveiled by Ambassador Groth and his host, Governor Bii, with the ambassador glad to see athletes recognised due to their great performance across the globe.
Groth added that Uasin Gishu and its neighbouring counties have been known for a long time for producing some of the best globally and he was happy to even interact with some of them at the Eka Hotel.
“I have met today with Tecla Chemabwai and she has a rich history as one of the women pioneers in athletics and this is the best thing the hotel has done in recognising and rewarding them.
“Kenya has had a rich history since the 60's and they are still doing well which is a good thing and motivates the upcoming generation,” said Groth.
Bii said that his county government will continue supporting and recognising talent, terming the “Wall of Fame” as “a great idea.”
“We are proud of our region and seeing what Kipchoge has done in Berlin Marathon, it is always good to appreciate them and that is why apart from the hotel recognising the champions.
“We also have a Wall of Fame at the Eldoret Arboretum where we have identified the great men and women who flew Kenya’s flag high,” said Bii.
Two-time Olympics 1,500m champion Faith Kipyegon who graced the short ceremony at the hotel, said she was happy that the hotel came up with a good project that will identify with the champions.
“In small way the hotel has today surprised us today by recognising the hard work we have been doing as athletes.
“The “Wall of Fame” contains the legends and the current athletes which for me is an honour and motivation at the same time,” said Kipyegon.
John Kanyi who is the Eka Hotel’s General Manager, said they recognise the rich athletic heritage of Eldoret, which has produced numerous world-class athletes who have achieved exceptional success on the international stage.
“This initiative seeks to create a dedicated space within the hotel to honor and showcase the accomplishments of these athletes.
“The hotel seeks support and partnership to bring this project to fruition and create a lasting legacy for Eldoret's athletic heritage,” said Kanyi.
Tecla Chemabwai, whose portrait is also up on the “Wall of Fame” said it was such an honour to be recognised, adding that the current athletes should follow in their footsteps after they pioneered the sport in the early 60’s.
“Kipyegon is such a talented girl and she has done wonders and it's her time to shine and I believe that there are many other athletes outside there who are talented and need support and the Ministry of Sports should come on board and assist such athletes,” said Chemabwai.
Athletics legend Kipchoge Keino, world 800 metres record holder David Rudisha, two-time Boston Marathon Moses Tanui, 3,000m steeplechase world record holder Beatrice Chepkoech, 2017 world cross country champion Irene Cheptai, coach Patrick Sang and Tokyo Marathon champion Margaret Wanjiru are some of the athletes whose imaged have been put up at the “Wall of Fame.”