NAIROBI, Kenya, Dec 14 – It will be a case of two greatest athletes of different generations as the Kipchoges mark the highlight of the Athletics Kenya (AK) 70th anniversary celebrations to be marked on Tuesday, December 15th, 2020 at the Nyayo National Stadium.
The two greats are World Record holder and the first mankind to run a marathon under 2 hours, Eliud Kipchoge and athletics pioneer Hezekiah Kipchoge Keino, who is two-time Olympic gold medalist.
Keino was among the first in a long line of successful middle- and long-distance runners to come from the country and has helped and inspired many of his fellow countrymen and women to become the athletics force that they are today.
Athletics Kenya (AK) president Jackson Tuwei said the celebrations will appreciate Kenyan achievers over the generations since AK’s formation where Eliud and Keino symbolize two different generations and coincidentally share the name Kichoge.
Among the activities are the visitors being taken through some of the memorabilia including running shoes, kit, photos, articles written over the years of athletes in their line of duty that will be displayed at Nyayo Stadium.
There will be a 20-minute documentary on Kenya’s 70 athletics journey to be aired on the stadium’s big screen to the audience at the venue.
According to the organizing committee, chairman Barnaba Korir, there will be speeches, cutting of the cake and honoring the invited athletes with awards.
Kenya’s founding athletes will be the main attraction in AK’s commemoration 70 years of its existence in an event to be graced by the Sports Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohammed.
The celebration’s Local Organising Committee (LOC) has invited some 100 athletes for the event, most of whom are the pioneers of the sport in the country, between 1950s and 1979 to in the recent past.
“The numbers have been kept low in line with the COVID-19 protocol,” said Tuwei.
Amongst those to be honoured include Kenya’s first man to win an Olympic gold medal Wilson Kiprugut Chumo – won in 10,000m.
Also, in the line-up is late Naftali Temu as well as Amos Biwott- the first Kenyan to win a gold medal in 3,000m steeplechase at the Olympics.
Also selected are the 1958 Commonwealth Games bronze medalists Arere Onentia (6 miles) and Bartonjo Rotich (440 yards).
Others are: the Nyantika Maiyoro, Ben Jipcho, Daniel Rudisha, Naftali Bon as well as sprinters Charles Asati, Hezekiah Nyamao and the late Robert Ouko.
Among the veterans invited are legendary Kipchoge Keino, Paul Tergat, John Ngugi, Rose Tata-Muya, Catherine Ndereba, Julius Kariuki, Charles Asati, Mike Boit, Billy Konchellah and Henry Rono.
Others Elizabeth Chesire, Sabina Chebichii, Tecla Sang, Diana Monks, Mary Wagaki and Ruth Waithera are among the pioneer women set to be recognized.
Relatives of the legendary athletes who have passed on to attend the celebrations, among them families of Naftali Temu, Nyantika Maiyoro, Daniel Rudisha, Robert Ouko and Ben Jipcho.
Similarly, upcoming athletes led by World Under-20 5000m champion and national 400m record holder Mary Moraa has been invited
Other juniors include Edward Zakayo, Beatrice Chebet, Mary Moraa, Ita Nao, Dominic Ndigiti and Fancy Cherono among others who are in the list of 97 athletics personalities who have been invited.