At only 25 years of age, she has already won two marathon majors (London and Chicago) and is setting her sights on more titles in future as she eyes the world record.
Brigid Kosgei, who bagged victory in Sunday’s London Marathon, jetted back in the country where she was welcomed back home by her family after her exploits in triumphing over last year’s winner Vivian Cheruiyot.
Her husband Mathew Mitei and two of her children Faith Chepchumba (7) and Brian Kibet (6) alongside other relatives braced the chilly weather to welcome the champion at Eldoret International Airport.
The athlete demolished a competitive field to bag victory after winning in two hours, 18 minutes and 20 seconds ahead of compatriot Cheruiyot who clocked two hours, 20 minutes and 14 seconds while Ethiopia’s Roza Dereje was third place after timing two hours, 20 minutes and 51 seconds.
Berlin Marathon champion Gladys Cherono was fourth in two hours, 20 minutes and 52 seconds while New York Marathon winner Mary Keitany was a distance fifth clocking two hours, 20 minutes and 58 seconds.
Kosgei who trains in Kapsait in Elgeyo Marakwet County said that she was happy to have won the title but there is more in store for her.
“It was a sweet victory for me after good preparations in the last three months before the race. I’m still targeting to lower the world record and that’s my next target,” said Kosgei who dedicated her win to the family.
The athlete said that there was possibility of running a better time in London but fear among other factors hindered her attempt.
“The pacemakers did their work well but we feared each other at the first half and that is why I decided to increase my pace with Vivian in tow in the second half. I told Vivian to look out because nowadays in a marathon an athlete might decide to run from the front and win the race like Boston Marathon,” said Kosgei, who is also the Chicago Marathon champion.
The athlete added that she tried to pull Vivian but her pace was slow forcing her to increase hers and pull away and run alone to the finishing line.
“I had done good training and I believed in myself and I’m happy this time round I was able to beat Vivian after she beat me last year in the same race,” said the athlete.
Former Honolulu Marathon champion Erick Kimaiyo who is her coach praised the athlete for her win promising more good things to come.
“Kosgei is a good athlete who follows instructions and she is an athlete to watch. We are going to plan on how to lower the women’s world record soon,” he said.
The athletes were accompanied by Sports Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohammed who watched the race in London. They had earlier in the morning been received by Athletics Kenya president General (Rtd) Jack Tuwei and Barnaba Korir at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA).
Tuwei said that they are proud of the winners because they are always lifting Kenya’s name high.
“We want congratulate the winners - Eliud Kipchoge and Brigid Kosgei for the good work they did on Sunday. We are proud of you and will always give you our support,” said Tuwei.
He also urged the men marathoners to put more effort saying that Kipchoge did extremely well to drop the Ethiopian athletes.
“If you look at the men’s category, we only had Kipchoge as a Kenyan in the top ten. Ethiopians were five and that shows they are going for this titles and we need to come up with a good program to beat them,” added Tuwei.