Kirui, who was elevated from Sergeant, had his new uniform and lapels pinned on him by AP Commandant, Kinuthia Mbugua and Internal Security, Permanent Secretary, Francis Kimemia at Nairobi’s Harambee House.
“I thank and welcome the recognition after my win. I’m so proud and ready to defend Kenya in the remaining races. I will also seek to participate in local races but for now, I’m happy about it,” Kirui told Capital Sport.
Immediately after winning the marathon race on Sunday in a blistering second fastest time at a World Championships marathon of 2:07:38, Kirui had said,
“When I won in Berlin, my good force made me a Sergeant and now, I would not mind being promoted to Chief Inspector. I feel like flying back home immediately since I’m so happy with this.”
Although he was promoted to one rung below his desired position, Kirui noted, “When I win the Olympics or break the world record, they will give it to me, I know it will come.”
Reflecting on his groundbreaking victory that saw him become the first Kenyan to defend the men’s marathon title as well as record the biggest ever margin between gold and silver (2:38), Kirui stated his motivation to charge for victory;
“Reading and watching what they have been saying about my win is like a flowing story that has its own sweetness all the time. It was a good thing since when I was not doing well, especially after London, I promised Kenyans I will be back and when I slept, I would keep saying I would be back.”
He expressed his gratitude to the panel of selectors who turned to him and included him in the team after initially being overlooked.
“Athletics Kenya has their role to play and if they did not choose me, I would have gone to another big race and performed but the last committee that said I should be in the team, knew inside I could deliver and I thank them.”
Kirui told of great sacrifice he put in to represent his nation with distinction, puttying his win down to tactical running.
“It takes a lot to win for the country and I decided to take-off mid race since I know the Ethiopians were there and they were strong. I have never run at the Olympics and I hope they keep their promise to include anyone who won at the World Championships.
“If they do that, I will drop everything and prepare for them since winning at the Olympics would be a great honour.”
Inspector Kirui dedicated his gold to his AP force saying, “I was the only one from the force who was selected and to return to the family as a winner, it is a great thing.”
After the promotion ceremony, Kirui was escorted in convoy to his Kapsabet home where a party was to be thrown to toast his achievements.
His senior at AP, Peter Pamba, who travelled to Daegu as Kenya’s Team Manager, said Kirui’s victory had motivated the force to tap more athletics talent.
“We are very proud of Abel and the entire team and his success has made us more open to look for more athletes since you can see the kind of goodwill this is giving our force,” Pamba expressed.