The United States of America has pledged to continue collaborating with Kenyans to boost integrity in sports.
US Ambassador to Kenya Kyle McCarter praised Kenyan athletes for their prowess which has earned the country global acclaim.
McCarter spoke when he paid a visit to Global Sports Communication training camp in Kaptagat, Elgeyo-Marakwet County, that has produced renowned runners like Olympics marathon champion Eliud Kipchoge and world half marathon record holder Geoffrey Kamworor.
“This was a private visit and I wanted to come and have a feel of where the athletes train for them to be successful. We wanted to meet Kipchoge, not because he is a world record holder, but because he is a good example to the future generations,” said McCarter.
“Kipchoge is a good example to many and that is what is expected from a leader. Many youths are looking up to him and this shows one can achieve his/her dreams when you work hard,” he said.
McCarter also said that he was keen to see the young upcoming athletes who train at the camp because they are the future champions.
“I took note of the young athletes because they are the future and I will be happy to see them doing well in future,” said the envoy.
The ambassador said the US government will from next year collaborate with the Kenya government to improve sports and the National Basketball Association will be visiting Kenya to check on the sport and see how they can help improve and make it better.
“Basketball is becoming a big sport in Kenya and we shall have an NBA delegation visiting Kenya and try to see if we can work together in terms of improving the sport,” he added.
Kipchoge, on his part, said that it was a privilege to host the ambassador who wanted to see where he has been training with his colleagues.
“It’s an honour to receive the envoy in the camp because he wanted to know where we reside as we train and we are grateful,” said the Olympic champion.
McCarter later presented Kipchoge with a T-shirt, cap, notebook, an emblem and a bag.
The envoy arrived at the camp at around 2 pm under tight security. He was accompanied by his wife Victoria, and was received by Kipchoge, Eindhoven Marathon champion Laban Mutai, former World Half Marathon champion Sally Chepyego and Toronto Marathon champion Philemon Rono.
He was taken on a tour by Kipchoge before planting a tree at the facility where many visitors have been doing so to help enhance the good forest cover around the scenic camp.
The envoy later joined Kipchoge and his training mates in a one-lap race at the camp.
Other athletes who graced the occasion included 1,500m Olympics champion Faith Chepng’etich, former 3,000m steeplechase world champion Hyvin Kiyeng, and former two-time world champion in marathon Abel Kirui.
Kipchoge became the first human being to run the marathon under the mythical two hours during the 1:59 INEOS Challenge in Vienna, Austria, in October. He finished the marathon in 1:59:40.