If they give me the title of Chief Inspector of Police, I will deliver the Olympic Games marathon title in London next year.”
After defending his World marathon title with a brave show that blew the opposition apart, that is the challenge that sergeant Abel Kirui threw to his employers, the Administration Police.
And many who watched policeman from Kapsabet rule the streets of Daegu on his way to victory on the final morning of competition here Wednesday hoped AP Commandant Kinuthia Mbugua would grant his wish.
On Wednesday, the two-time World marathon champion finally got his wish: he was handed a three-rank promotion in the Administration Police in recognition for his stunning weekend victory at the IAAF World Championships in Athletics in Daegu, South Korea.
The 29-year-old officer was promoted from a sergeant to the post of inspector, three steps up in the ranking and a senior position in the Kenya Police Service.
The elated World marathon champion received the letter of his promotion from the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of State for Provincial Administration & Internal Security, Francis Kimemia, at the Office of the President, Harambee House, Nairobi, and had his new uniform and lapels pinned on him by Commandant Mbugua.
Welcome the recognition
“I am lost for words,” said Kirui. “This is the best form of appreciation I would have expected after winning the World marathon title. This will inspire me to work harder to win a ticket for next year’s London Olympics and Moscow World Championships in 2013.
“I thank my team mates and the head coach for the outstanding performance we recorded in Daegu.”
Among those present at the ceremony were Kirui’s mother Romana Koech and other family members, Olympic 800m champion Pamela Jelimo and marathoner Rodgers Rop.
“I thank and welcome the recognition after my win. I’m so proud and ready to compete for Kenya in the remaining races,” Kirui, who in Daegu on Sunday became the first Kenyan marathon champion to successfully defend his world title, told reporters after his promotion.