Song and dance as Evans Chebet returns home after Valencia exploits

Evans Chebet

Valencia Marathon champion Evans Chebet (centre )is given Kalenjin traditional milk ‘Mursik’ by his mother, Margaret Wanjiru Chebet, during his homecoming ceremony at the scenic Kondabilet village in Marakwet West, Elgeyo Marakwet County on December 15, 2020. Chebet was accompanied by Amos Kipruto (right), who finished fourth in the race, and 10,000m World Bronze medalist Rhonex Kipruto.

Photo credit: Jared Nyataya | Nation Media Group

What you need to know:

  • Chebet hails from a region which has a rich history of producing some world beaters including James Kwambai, Sally Kipyego, Michael Kipyego, Stanley Shokoti and John Kosgei.
  • Chebet won the Valencia race in a personal best of 2:03:00 ahead of compatriot Lawrence Cherono who timed 2:03:04 while Ethiopia’s Birhanu Legese was third in 2:04:53.

Valencia Marathon champion Evans Chebet has set his sights on the Olympics Games slated for next year in Tokyo, Japan after a brilliant performance last week.

Chebet won the Valencia race in a personal best of 2:03:00 ahead of compatriot Lawrence Cherono who timed 2:03:04 while Ethiopia’s Birhanu Legese was third in 2:04:53.

Conquerers of Valencia: (From left) Valencia Half Marathon winners Kibiwott Kandie and Peres Jepchirchir with Valencia Marathon winner Evans Chebet display their trophies during a reception hosted for them by Athletics Kenya at Riadha House, Nairobi on December 8, 2020.

Photo credit: Lucy Wanjiru | Nation Media Group

It was song and dance as friends, relatives and neighbours at Kondabilet in Elgeyo Marakwet County welcomed their son back home after a tough battle last week in the streets of Spanish City.

Alongside his training mate Amos Kipruto - who emerged fourth in the same race - and Rhonex Kipruto who was third in the half marathon, they were given 'Mursik' as is always the case when triumphant warriors return home.

“I look forward to competing for my country in the Olympics Games after a good break and my prayer is that Athletics Kenya names the team early," said a jubilant Chebet.

“The race in Valencia was tough and I was scared of Legese who was going for the world record but I was surprised by how strong I was. It was Cherono who was proving to be the hard nut to crack but I managed to beat him,” added Chebet, who has competed in more than 20 marathons in his career.

Valencia Marathon champion Evans Chebet (left) accompanied by Amos Kipruto - who finished fourth in the race - arrive at Chebet’s home for his homecoming ceremony at the scenic Kondabilet village in Marakwet West, Elgeyo Marakwet County on December 15, 2020.

Photo credit: Jared Nyataya | Nation Media Group

In March before the lockdown, Chebet participated in the Lake Biwa Marathon in Japan where he won the race in 2:07:29.

Kipruto said that he hopes AK will select the team that was in Valencia with inclusion of the Olympics marathon champion Eliud Kipchoge whom has been an inspiration to them.

“I managed to run my personal best because that was my target and I still believe I will be joining the Kenyan team heading to Japan for the Olympics Games. The team that ran in Valencia was the best and we hope the federation will consider the athletes who will team up with Eliud Kipchoge,” said Kipruto.

Rhonex, who was competing on his first 21km race, said that he was also eyeing a slot in Team Kenya for the Olympics but in the 10,000m.

“I managed to represent Kenya during the World Championships last year and managed to bag a bronze medal. My focus now shifts to the Olympics Games and I will be targeting to make the team so that I can improve on my performance,” said Rhonex, who is also the World Under-20 Championships 10,000m champion.

Chebet hails from a region which has a rich history of producing some world beaters including James Kwambai, Sally Kipyego, Michael Kipyego, Stanley Shokoti and John Kosgei.

Others include Stella Barsosio, Agnes Barsosio, Benson Koech, Isaac Koech, Gilbert Rotich, Pamela Kipchoge among others.

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