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Kenyan athletes hailed for their gallant performance in Budapest

Kenya the best placed African nation at the World Athletics Championships which concluded on Sunday night in Budapest.

The Kenyan team, which otherwise performed below par by their own standards at such global events, redeemed itself with four medals on the last day of action on Sunday to finish fifth overall with a total of 10 medals (three gold, three silver and four bronze).

The United States topped the medals table (29 medals), followed by Canada (6 medals), Spain (5 medals) and Jamaica (12 medals) in that order.

Kenya finished ahead of regional rivals Ethiopia who bagged two gold, four silver and three bronze medals. The third best African country was Uganda with two medals (both gold), followed by Morocco with two medals (one gold and one bronze). Burkina Faso placed fifth with one gold medal while Botswana bagged one silver and bronze.

Faith Kipyegon and Mary Moraa were hailed as the saving grace for Kenya after they phenomenally won in their individual races for Kenya’s three gold medals in Budapest.

Kipyegon was the toast of the Kenyan team after she did an unprecedented double in the 1,500m and 5,000m races while Moraa reigned supreme in the 800m race.

Kenya’s silver medallists were Daniel Simiu Ebenyo (10,000m), Emmanuel Wanyonyi (800m) and Beatrice Chepkoech (3,000m steeplechase) while Abraham Kibiwot (3,000m steeplechase) Beatrice Chebet (5,000m), Jacob Krop (5,000m) and Faith Cherotich (3,000m steeplechase) bagged bronze medals.

At the same time, President William Ruto has congratulated the Kenyan team for the performance in Budapest.

“Exceptional, outstanding and vibrant performance by our female athletes in the World Athletics Championships in Budapest for making Kenya number 1 in Africa and 5th overall. We do not take your passion, hard work and sacrifice for granted,” President Ruto said.

“Good contribution Beatrice Chepkoech and Faith Cherotich for bagging silver and bronze in the women’s 3000m steeplechase on the final day. Congratulations to Team Kenya for making us proud. We have the zeal, hunger and potential to do better with proper tactics and guidance from our tacticians,” the President added.

Sports Cabinet Secretary Ababu Namwamba has similarly lauded the Kenyan athletes for their performance.

“Big shout to these super Kenyan girls! Incredible run, Maria! Congratulations, Mary Moraa for your stunning golden run in the women’s 800m at the World Athletics Championships in Budapest tonight. You have proudly hoisted our beautiful flag high, yet again,” Namwamba said.

“Hongera Beatrice Chepkoech for winning silver in 3000 m women’s steeplechase. And again cheers! to teenager Faith Cherotich (19) for clinching bronze in this race. You are our assurance of the future. And big up too Jacob Kirop for your bronze in 5,000 m. #TeamKenya #Budapest23 #RunClean #TalantaHela,” the CS added.

With the World Championships done and dusted, the next goal for Kenyan athletes is the 2024 Paris Olympic Games, where they will be hoping to give a better show and cement the country’s reputation as a global athletics powerhouse.