Why I dumped Kenya for Bahrain – Ruth Jebet
Kenyan-born Rio Olympics 3,000m steeplechase gold medallist Ruth Jebet has said opted to run for Bahrain after being promised a fully paid scholarship to study for a degree in animal health in that country.
Speaking at Eldoret International Airport upon her arrival from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, on Friday, Jebet said she changed her allegiance to the Middle East country after being promised a number of goodies.
The 19-year-old, who is also a former World Junior steeplechase champion, flew to Eldoret to a heroine’s welcome from family members and friends.
‘MUST WIN THE RACE’
“The race was tough but we had talked and agreed with (Hyvin) Kiyeng that we must win the race. But she told me she was unwell,” said the soft-spoken Jebet.
Jebet obliterated the field to win Bahrain its first ever Olympics gold in 9:12:62, beating Kenya’s Kiyeng to silver in the race on Monday.
The teenager flew from Brazil to join her family and friends in celebrating the victory. She is scheduled to fly out on Saturday to Bahrain, where a major celebration in her honour is expected.
“I am happy to be back to home. I came to see my parents and I will be going back tomorrow,” said Jebet, who trains in Kapsabet, Nandi County.
Asked whether she would consider running for Kenya in future, she said: “Not now. No plans but it depends…”
HAPPY TO RUN FOR BAHRAIN
Jebet’s father, Joel Sitienei, said he was happy with her decision to run for the foreign country.
“Since she went to Bahrain, she has built me a house, bought me two dairy cows and land. I am happy I no longer live in a thatched house,” he said.
Kenyans watched in shock as the teenager produced a stunning performance to win gold for her adopted country on Monday, leaving Kiyeng struggling for silver.
Kenyans took to social media afterwards to express their views after it emerged that Jebet would be paid Sh52 million by the Bahraini government for her feat.