NAIROBI, September 17 – President Mwai Kibaki on Wednesday presented Olympic 800 metres champion Pamela Jelimo with Sh2.55 million as reward for her heroic efforts in Beijing.,
Prime Minister Raila Odinga who attended function commended Jelimo for her awesome performances that saw her become the first Kenyan woman to win an Olympic gold as well as the first Kenyan to win the IAAF $1 million Golden jackpot.
“She has made Kenya proud. She has made all the women and girls in the country proud by becoming the first woman to an Olympic gold medal. Her achievements are a testament that the young people of this country are capable,” said Raila.
The 19 year old was visibly moved by the ceremony.
Najivunia kuwa Mkenya (I am proud to be Kenyan) she said adding, “I was doing my best to represent my country and I thank God because I have done it well and I share my joy and glory with all Kenyans today.”
Earlier, Jelimo had paid a courtesy call to her boss, Police Commissioner Major General Hussein Ali at Vigilante house.
Ali commended Jelimo, who is also a police officer and other athletes who serve in the force for their exploits at the Olympics and other track meets saying that their performance and representation bodes well for the reputation of the law enforcement body.
“Kenya Police made up fifty percent of the track team and it is an area that we hope to improve especially with the upcoming World Cross Country Championships in Jordan and the World Athletics Championships in Berlin”, said Ali.
“We as a force are proud to have a large number of service men and women representing Kenya all over the world and we will continue to give them the necessary support”, he added.
World Athletics Championship silver medalist Vivian Cheruiyot, 3000m Africa champion Richard Mateelong, 10,000m runner Moses Masai and Commonwealth champion Lucy Kabuu were also present at the function.
Ali added that arrangements are under way to reward all the force’s athletes who represented the country in Beijing.
The world junior record holder arrived back in the country on Tuesday night to a raucous welcome at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport.
Jelimo became the first Kenyan woman to win an Olympic gold medal when she won the women’s 80 metres race in Beijing.
Then two weeks later she became the first Kenyan and only the second African to win the IAAF $1 million Golden jackpot when she triumphed in Zurich to complete a six race sweep of the Golden League meetings.
Last Sunday, she won the World Athletics Final in a championships record of 1:56.23 to bring the curtain down on a fantastic season.