NAIROBI, Kenya, July 27- President Uhuru Kenyatta has challenged Kenya’s captain to Rio Olympics Wesley Korir, who is also the Cherangany Member of Parliament to bring back the men’s marathon gold that was last won by the late Samuel Wanjiru at the Beijing 2008 Games.
Korir, winner of the 2012 Boston Marathon is part of a three-man Kenyan team in the marathon and President Kenyatta has urged him to go ahead and make history as the first sitting MP to win an Olympic medal.
“I want when this team returns you come here with a gold medal. A sitting MP winning a medal in Olympics will be history! Please make it happen,” the Head of State told Korir while holding his hand firmly when the team was flagged off at State House.
The 33-year old father of one has taken the challenge with both hands and has vowed to make the President’s wishes come true.
“When he (President) came to Eldoret we talked and he told me the same thing and I now know that he really wants this. I will bring him the medal, rest assured.” Korir told Capital Sport.
Despite commanding great respect in middle and long distance running, Kenya has had only one men’s marathon gold medal in the marathon at the Summer Games coming in the 2008 Olympics in Beijing, China from the late Wanjiru.
However, Korir beams with confidence Kenya can reclaim the title after losing it in 2012 to Ugandan Stephen Kiprotich who stole the thunder off Kenya’s Abel Kirui and former marathon record holder Wilson Kipsang’.
“In fact this year, what we want is to win it 1-2-3. We have what it takes because we have a very strong team and we have trained hard. We have to bring this medal back to Kenya. It will be an honor for the late Sammy Wanjiru,” Korir affirmed.
He will be joined in the team by two-time London Marathon champion Eliud Kipchoge, who ran the second fastest time ever in marathon history in April and reigning New York Marathon champion Stanley Biwott.
Kipchoge, who will be running his third Olympics, but the first on the road was upbeat the team has the ability to harvest medals in Rio.
“We have a good team and I have no doubts that we will come back home with positive results. We are going to Rio to win and nothing short of that,” a confident Kipchoge said.
Biwott, who has a personal best of 2:03.51 set in London this year, has pleasant memories of Brazil, this being where he ran his first ever career marathon in 2009, finishing in the fastest marathon time ever then on South American soil in 2:11.19.