The Princess is Back! Faith Chepng'etich returns to a heroine's welcome

Saturday September 3 2016

Rio Olympics 1500m gold medallist Faith Chepng'etich (left) is received by her parents at Ndabibit Village in Keringet, Kuresoi South on September 3, 2016. PHOTO | SULEIMAN MBATIAH |

Rio Olympics 1500m gold medallist Faith Chepng'etich (left) is received by her parents at Ndabibit Village in Keringet, Kuresoi South on September 3, 2016. PHOTO | SULEIMAN MBATIAH |  NATION MEDIA GROUP

By FRANCIS MUREITHI
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Rio Olympics 1,500m gold medallist Faith Chepng'etich on Saturday received a heroine’s welcome at Ndabibit village in Kuresoi South, Nakuru County.

Little known Ndabibit village was turned into a sea of humanity with more than 3,000 residents in 11 white tents that ringed her parent’s homestead giving her a memorable welcome.

Along the muddy pathway leading to the home of Samuel Kipyegon, her father, girls wearing blue T-shirts with the wording: "Nakuru Princess Returns – the 1,500 gold winner" lined up to welcome her.

Rio Olympics 1500m gold medallist Faith Chepng'etich waves to her fans in Nakuru town on her wat to her parent's home at Ndabibit Village in Keringet, Kuresoi South on September 3, 2016. PHOTO | SULEIMAN MBATIAH | NATION MEDIA GROUP

Rio Olympics 1500m gold medallist Faith Chepng'etich waves to her fans in Nakuru town on her wat to her parent's home at Ndabibit Village in Keringet, Kuresoi South on September 3, 2016. PHOTO | SULEIMAN MBATIAH | NATION MEDIA GROUP

Rio Olympics 1500m gold medallist Faith Chepng'etich waves to her fans in Nakuru town on her wat to her parent's home at Ndabibit Village in Keringet, Kuresoi South on September 3, 2016. PHOTO | SULEIMAN MBATIAH | NATION MEDIA GROUP

Rio Olympics 1500m gold medallist Faith Chepng'etich waves to her fans in Nakuru town on her wat to her parent's home at Ndabibit Village in Keringet, Kuresoi South on September 3, 2016. PHOTO | SULEIMAN MBATIAH | NATION MEDIA GROUP

Rio Olympics 1500m gold medallist Faith Chepng'etich (centre) arrives at her parent's home at Ndabibit Village in Keringet, Kuresoi South on September 3, 2016. PHOTO | SULEIMAN MBATIAH | NATION MEDIA GROUP

Rio Olympics 1500m gold medallist Faith Chepng'etich (centre) arrives at her parent's home at Ndabibit Village in Keringet, Kuresoi South on September 3, 2016. PHOTO | SULEIMAN MBATIAH | NATION MEDIA GROUP

Rio Olympics 1500m gold medallist Faith Chepng'etich acknowledges greetings from fans in Nakuru town on her way to her parent's home at Ndabibit Village in Keringet, Kuresoi South on September 3, 2016. PHOTO | SULEIMAN MBATIAH | NATION MEDIA GROUP

Rio Olympics 1500m gold medallist Faith Chepng'etich acknowledges greetings from fans in Nakuru town on her way to her parent's home at Ndabibit Village in Keringet, Kuresoi South on September 3, 2016. PHOTO | SULEIMAN MBATIAH | NATION MEDIA GROUP

Not even the heavy down pour could dampen the residents’ spirits as they thronged the homestead to receive her in style.

Security personnel hard a rough time controlling the surging crowd.

And as the motorcade led by a police officers snaked through the muddy road and made its way to Ndabibit, the crowd went into a frenzy when Faith emerged from a green V-8 Land cruiser clad in a beige blouse, a blue jeans and a marching white sport shoes.

She waved to the cheering crowd her gold medal – to more ululations.

She received a bouquet of flowers from her younger sister Jessica Chemweno and her brother Emmanuel Kipng’eno.

She was later garlanded with the traditional Kalenjin Sinedet flowers by her mother Linah Koech and her father.

"This is a great moment in my life and I promise to repay this generosity by making sure I retain the gold medal in 2020 in Tokyo Olympics," said Faith.

Some of the athletes who were present at the event are Isaiah Kiplangat and Edwin Soi and retired runners Robert Kibet and Kipkurui Misoi.

Earlier on, business came to a standstill when Faith’s motorcade arrived in Nakuru town as residents turned out in large numbers along Kenyatta Avenue to welcome her.