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State asked to expedite the completion of Kamariny Stadium

Leaders from Elgeyo Marakwet County have called on the national government to complete Kamariny Stadium in honour of Chicago Marathon world record breaker Kelvin Kiptum, who hails from the county.

Speaking in Iten town during a ceremony to welcome him home after he broke the world marathon record, the leaders called on the national government to expedite the completion of the stadium to offer training facilities to hundreds of athletes from the county who do not have a place to train.

Led by Governor Wisley Rotich, the leaders said Kamariny, which was established in the 1950s, is the oldest stadium in the country but has never been upgraded to international standards.

“We hope that Kiptum’s win and the world record will attract partners to work with the county in developing Kamariny and other fields where more athletes can train,” Governor Rotich said.

He said the completion of Kamariny Stadium will encourage sports tourism in the county as athletes from all parts of the world come to witness where the world champions train.

Speaker Philemon Sabulei urged the national government and county government to collaborate on empowering young people inspired by Kiptum’s fete by providing them with a top-tier training facility.

He hailed the governor for supporting athletes in the county by rehabilitating part of Kamariny to ensure that at least athletes can train, which he said should be supported by the national government.

The sentiments were also supported by Athletics Kenya president Jackson Tuwei, who said the availability of a training facility will go a long way in producing more champions in different races.

He said Kenya has had a long list of world record breakers in the marathon, citing Douglas Wakiihuri, Paul Tergat, Wilson Kipsang, Dennis Kimetto, Eliud Kipchoge, Tegla Lorupe, and Bridgit Kosgey, among others.

Kiptum, on his part, called on his fellow athletes to train hard and avoid cheating, which he said was the secret to his sterling performance.

Sports Cabinet Secretary Ababu Namwamba, in a meeting with county officials, said the government will construct an elite training centre which will be equipped to international standards at Kamariy Stadium.

The CS said Kamariny cannot be used for competitions due to the high altitude but can serve as a training facility.

By Alice Wanjiru

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