Last year, Simon Cheprot had gone to Nigeria for the IAAF Okpekpe International 10 kilometre road race, but something unfortunate happened thrusting his name into the limelight.
Cheprot was looking to win the race for the second time after triumphing in 2016. But things didn’t go as planned and he emerged 15th overall.
As he raced towards the finish line, an act of kindness he showed to a fellow athlete won him praise and pledges for Sh1 million. However, a year later, he said he had not received the money.
Efforts to reach the race organisers for comment were futile. Our text messages were not answered.
Cheprot who trains in Iten and Kapcherop in Elgeyo Marakwet County, said that before finishing the race he saw his compatriot Kenneth Kipkemoi staggering in the last few metres and he slowed down to help him complete the race.
Pushing the allure of glory aside, Cheprot pulled his friend along and helped him cross the finish line.
As they hobbled towards the tape, seven other athletes zoomed past them.
Helped struggling friend
“I was really touched to see how Kipkemoi was struggling to complete the race and I had to stop and try to lift him up. He could have finished in fourth position but other athletes cruised past him in the last 15 metres to the line,” Cheprot, a father of two, said.
In another show of selflessness, Cheprot let Kipkemoi cross the line ahead of him in the 12th place with a time of 31 minutes 05 seconds. Cheprot was ranked 15th after clocking 31.10.
The act of kindness shocked the race organisers and spectators and loosened the purse strings. Cheprot was promised $10,000 (Sh1 million).
Edo State Deputy Governor Philip Shaibu pledged $3,000 (Sh319,650), former Governor Adams Oshiomole, $5,000 (Sh532,750) and a hotelier handed him $2,000 (Sh213,100).
Talking to Nation Sport, Cheprot said he has never received the cash and has been struggling to make ends meet due to coronavirus.
“I have been following up on the promises since last year, but no one has responded,” he said.
The athlete is pleading with organisers to intervene and send him the money.