Kenyans from all walks of life suddenly donned their patriotic caps at around midday on Sunday moments after marathoner Eluid Kipchoge shattered the world record in Berlin.
Led by Deputy President William Ruto, they united and stormed social media to share congratulatory messages following this latest feat which further highlights Kenya’s status a global athletics superpower.
For once, the all too familiar challenges that have dogged the country in recent times, including the high cost of fuel and living, controversial demolition of prime properties, corruption, and state of security were cast aside.
“A show of strength, stamina, willpower as Eluid Kipchige produces a masterclass in long-distance running to smash the Berlin marathon record. Powerful, phenomenal display from an impeccable athlete, a legend,” the DP wrote on Twitter.
“You have done us all extremely proud by breaking the Men’s World Record at the Berlin marathon. Hongera Eluid Kipchoge may you continue to be an inspiration to our youth through your heroic exploits in athletics,” opposition leader Raila Odinga wrote.
“Congratulations my friend Eluid Kipchoge for breaking the World Marathon Record. Proud of you brother,” Harambee Stars captain Victor Wanyama tweeted.
“At a time like this, we should all be flying the Kenyan flag from every roof top. Congratulations Eliud Kipchoge and Gladys Cherono. I am team Kenya,” said Makueni senator Mutula Kilonzo.
In breaking world record, the 33-year-old clocked two hours, one minute 39 seconds to shave more than a minute off the record of 2:02:57 set by compatriot Dennis Kimetto on the same course in 2014.
This latest triumph is certain to earn Kipchoge – considered the greatest marathon runner of all time – atleast Sh100 million in prize money and bonuses.
The reigning London marathon champ also has a Sh20 million worth Isuzu Dmax double-cab pick-up gift worth awaiting him when he gets back home.
This follows a partnership between the Olympic champion and truck and bus manufacturer Isuzu East Africa, which entails the athlete working as a brand ambassador of the firm.