Athletics fans gather to watch stars in London race

Wednesday March 18 2020

Eliud Kipchoge’s wife Grace Sugut (centre) and their children follow 2019 London Marathon on April 28, 2019 at Klique Restaurant in Eldoret town. World record holder Kipchoge won the men’s race. PHOTO | JARED NYATAYA |


The North Rift towns of Eldoret and Iten roared to life on Sunday as athletics fans turned out to watch Kenya’s world-beating athletes in London Marathon ‘viewerthon’ parties.

In Eldoret, hundreds of athletics lovers lined up along the busy Uganda Road where they followed the event live on a big screen mounted by Uasin Gishu County Government.

Motor company Isuzu hosted the viewing session at Klique Club, where they were rooting for World Marathon record holder Eliud Kipchoge who is Isuzu’s brand ambassador to win the race. Among those who attended the marathon viewing session were his training mates.

In Iten town, the marathon viewing party was held at Keellu Resort and was organised by Bank of Africa, among other partners. The marathon viewing party, now in its fifth year, brought together hundreds of elite and upcoming athletes who turned out to cheer their colleagues to victory. Other sponsors of the event included Kenya Revenue Authority, Anti-Doping Agency of Kenya and DSTV.

Speaking after the event, Bank of Africa Eldoret Branch Manager Richard Maritim said the financial institution was keen in creating capacity for investment for local sportsmen who include athletes.

“Athletes play a major role in bringing honour to our country and that is why we are committed to supporting and helping them develop their careers through proper investments,” said Maritim.

Maritim revealed that the bank was considering sponsoring local athletes in future.

Olympic champion Eliud Kipchoge yesterday lowered his own course record for a record fourth victory in London Marathon as his compatriot Brigid Kosgei destroyed a rich field to win women’s title in the British capital.

Elgeyo Marakwet Governor Alex Tolgos congratulated Kipchoge and Kosgei on their victory.

Tolgos said he was elated by the good performance by Kenyan athletes in the race.

He also congratulated Vivian Cheruiyot who came second after Kosgei in the Women’s category. Both Kosgei and Cheruiyot come from Elgeyo Marakwet County, while Kipchoge is from the neighbouring Nandi County. Tolgos heaped praises on Kipchoge, saying the world marathon record holder has proved to be the king of world marathon.