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Eliud Kipchoge continues Covid-19 relief mission

Saturday May 9 2020

World marathon record holder Eliud Kipchoge carries a box during a food distribution exercise to vulnerable athletes in Kapsabet, Nandi County on May 9, 2020. The food is donated by the Ministry of Sports in collaboration with Eliud Kipchoge Foundation, after all races were either postponed or cancelled due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Thirteen athletes received the rations in Kapsabet. PHOTO | JARED NYATAYA |

World marathon record holder Eliud Kipchoge carries a box during a food distribution exercise to vulnerable athletes in Kapsabet, Nandi County on May 9, 2020. The food is donated by the Ministry of Sports in collaboration with Eliud Kipchoge Foundation, after all races were either postponed or cancelled due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Thirteen athletes received the rations in Kapsabet. PHOTO | JARED NYATAYA |  NATION MEDIA GROUP

BERNARD ROTICH
By BERNARD ROTICH
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Marathon great Eliud Kipchoge continued from he left on Friday by distributing relief food to vulnerable athletes in three counties on Saturday.

Some 59 athletes from the North Rift region received food donations on Saturday to cushion them during the coronavirus pandemic in the exercise led by the Olympic marathon champion through his Eliud Kipchoge Foundation.

World marathon record holder Eliud Kipchoge
World marathon record holder Eliud Kipchoge gestures during a food rations delivery exercise to to vulnerable athletes in Kapsabet, Nandi County on May 9, 2020. PHOTO | JARED NYATAYA | NATION MEDIA GROUP

On Friday, the world marathon record holder spent his day in Kericho County distributing the food which was flagged off by Sports Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohamed on Thursday.

Kipchoge was picked as the ambassador of the relief project by the Ministry of Sport to motivate and come to the aid of athletes who have lost huge potential income owing to cancellation of races as the Covid-19 pandemic continues to bite.

The food was donated by the ministry and well wishers, including the Hindu Council of Kenya, with Sports Principal Secretary Joe Okudo joining Amina in flagging off the consignments on Thursday.

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The packages being given to each athlete, have, inter alia, maize and wheat flour, rice, cooking oil and pasta.

WAS IN KERICHO

This comes a day after Kipchoge, who became the first human to run the marathon in under two hours in Vienna last year, also distributed food to athletes in Kericho County.

Sixty eight needy sports men and women are set to benefit by the end of the exercise.

On Saturday, Kipchoge started the exercise in Kapsabet, Nandi County where 13 athletes benefited before proceeding to Eldoret in Uasin Gishu County where nine athletes received their share.

Abigael Chepkemboi, a marathoner. She is one of
Abigael Chepkemboi, a marathoner. She is one of the beneficiaries of the food rations delivered by World marathon record holder Eliud Kipchoge, to vulnerable athletes in Kapsabet, Nandi County on May 9, 2020, donated by the Ministry of Sports in collaboration with Eliud Kipchoge Foundation. PHOTO | JARED NYATAYA | NATION MEDIA GROUP

The long distance legend's next stop was in Iten, Elgeyo Marakwet County - which has been christened the ‘Home of Champions’ - where another 13 athletes received their portions.

The last stop was in Kaptagat, Elgeyo Marakwet County - where he trains - and 24 runners were also given their share some few minutes past midday.

Upcoming 5,000 metres runner Sarah Njeri, who has been training for the last few months in Kaptagat for a track event, said that she was happy to receive food. She said she has been suffering in the last few weeks since the athletics camps were closed.

“I’m really happy to have received the donation which I know will help me for the next few weeks. I would urge the government to also extend the hand to other athletes because we are so many,” said Njeri.

Kipchoge urged more corporates to come and support the ministry in helping the most vulnerable athletes who he said are more than 2,000.

“Up to 80 percent of athletes depend on races in Europe, Asia and other parts of the world and I would like to urge other corporates to come up and support them at this hard time," Kipchoge said.

Kenneth Kipchumba, a marathoner. He is one of
Kenneth Kipchumba, a marathoner. He is one of the beneficiaries of the food rations delivered by World marathon record holder Eliud Kipchoge, to vulnerable athletes in Kapsabet, Nandi County on May 9, 2020, donated by the Ministry of Sports in collaboration with Eliud Kipchoge Foundation.. PHOTO | JARED NYATAYA | NATION MEDIA GROUP

“They depend on running to put food on the table and this has become tricky to many because the entire season has been cancelled,” said Kipchoge.

“I’m happy because I managed to visit athletes in three counties in a half a day and I must thank Isuzu company for the support they have given me all along,” added Kipchoge, who used his two double cabin Isuzu vehicles awarded to him by the company during the food distribution exercise.

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