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Grand welcome for Faith Kipyegon aboard Kenya Air Force plane

World athletics record breaker Ms Faith Kipyegon jetted into the country on June 13, 2023, at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport. Ms Kipyegon was aboard the Kenya Air Force plane and upon descending, she was welcomed by several politicians including the Cabinet Secretary for Youth Affairs, the Arts and Sports, Honorable Ababu Namwamba, Nairobi Governor Johnson Sakaja and Ministry of Sports Principle Secretaries Ismail Maalim and Peter Tum. Athletics Kenya’s President, Gen (Rtd) Jackson Tuwei was also present.

Ms Kipyegon was welcomed by CS Namwamba at the Presidential Pavilion where he reiterated his Ministry’s commitment to honor those who place Kenya on the international map. In a statement, CS Namwamba said he would honor and reward Kenya’s sportspeople, who he called the goose that lay the golden egg, for being the number one branding assets for Kenya.

Ms Kipyegon also met with President William Ruto and his deputy, Rigathi Gachagua, at State House Nairobi this morning. At State House, Ms Kipyegon and her family were welcomed by DP Gachagua and the red carpet laid out for her. Fellow athlete Ferdinand Omanyala was also at hand to welcome her to State House alongside DP Gachagua.

Her schedule was finally cemented following confusion between State House and the Ministry of Sports who issued clashing media invites as they scrambled to welcome the world record breaker, 29, back home after he glorious exploits in Spain and France last week.

Nairobi News previously reported that in the first media alert to media houses, CS Namwamba invited the media to the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) where he intended on receiving Ms Kipyegon at 7:30am at the Presidential Pavilion. Later, a media invite from Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua’s office was released, inviting the media to the JKIA as well AT 8:00AM where he also intended on receiving Ms Kipyegon at the same venue as Namwamba.

However, a last minute change was sent to media houses, saying that Ms Kipyegon would now be celebrated at State House Nairobi at 7:30am where she would meet with DP Gachagua and President William Ruto. In one morning, Ms Kipyegon received two invites to three different locations but it would appear the confusion was sorted as CS Namwamba first received her.

In one week, Ms Kipyegon broke two world records. On June 3, 2023, she set a new world record on Friday night after clocking 3:49:11 at the Florence Diamond League in Italy. The previous record of 3:50:07 had been set by Ethiopia’s Genzebe Dibaba in 2015. On June 10, 2023, she once again broke a world record in the Paris Diamond League where she ran 5,000m in 14:05:20, beating the previous world record breaker Letesenbet Gidey’s (Ethiopia) 14:-6:62, to become the new champion. Ms Gidey broke this record in July 2020 in Valencia, Spain.