President Uhuru Kenyatta and DP William Ruto have congratulated Beatrice Chebet and Rhonex Kipruto for clinching gold at the IAAF World Under-20 Championships in Finland.
Chebet and Kipruto won the women’s 5,000m and men’s 10,000m races.
“Congratulations and well done to the new generation of world conquerors,” Ruto said via Twitter on Tuesday night after the competition.
Sports Cabinet Secretary Rashid Achesa told the two that Kenya was proud of them.
“A big ‘Thank you’ to our athletes for doing us Proud. Thank you for showing the world that we don’t just win, we win in class,” he said.
Chebet 18, who finished the race at 15:30:77, helped Kenya break Ethiopia’s 10-year dominance in the event.
She vowed to battle her Ethiopian rivals to the end and end their dominance as she stayed in the middle of the pack before bolting to zoom past Ethiopian Ejgayehu Taye.
For all their success at U20 level at the World Cross Country Championships, a Kenyan woman had never won the 5000m title.
“I’m so happy … I was running from behind to preserve my energy given that the athletes are very good in the final lap,” Chebet said.
Speaking to IAAF after the race, a delighted Kipruto,18, who finished the race in 27:21.08, dedicated his win to Kenyans.
“I am feeling very happy and I thank God for this. I was not expecting to win … I also thank my coach, the Kenyan team .. it’s is all hard work,” he said.
Kipruto, who produced his biggest splash with an upset 10km victory on the roads through New York’s Central Park in April faced stiff competition from Ugandan duo of Jacob Kiplimo and Victor Kiplangat.