Kipchoge helps donate food relief to Kenyan athletes

Men's elite race winner Kenya's Eliud Kipchoge attends the London Marathon winners' press conferece at Tower Bridge in central London on April 29, 2019. (Photo by Ben STANSALL / AFP)

Kenyan marathon icon Eliud Kipchoge has been doing his part in providing relief for his countrymen by distributing food to vulnerable athletes. Some 59 athletes from the North Rift region received food donations over the weekend to assist them cushion the economic impact and loss of earnings during the coronavirus pandemic.

The exercise led by the Olympic marathon champion through his Eliud Kipchoge Foundation began last week Thursday and was flagged off by Sports Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohamed. The food was donated by the ministry and well-wishers, including the Hindu Council of Kenya. Each package contained maize and wheat flour, rice, cooking oil and pasta.

Kipchoge urged more corporates to come and support the ministry in helping the most vulnerable athletes who he said are more than 2,000.

“Up to 80 percent of athletes depend on races in Europe, Asia and other parts of the world and I would like to urge other corporates to come up and support them at this hard time,” Kipchoge said. “They depend on running to put food on the table and this has become tricky to many because the entire season has been canceled.”

“I also condole with families who have lost their loved ones to the pandemic especially in China, the USA and Spain, who have been badly hit by the virus. I also condole with Kenyans who have been affected and ask them to take heart.”

Meanwhile, the four-time London marathon winner has revealed that he is still keen on a duel with Ethiopian multiple Olympic champion Kenenisa Bekele.

The duo were set to face off at the 2020 London Marathon last month but the race was pushed to October due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Bekele is seen as the biggest challenger to Kipchoge’s 2:01:39 record after he came just two seconds short at the 2019 London Marathon despite being within the record for the better part of the race.

“My race against Bekele is still on,” said Kipchoge. “However, the postponement of the London Marathon from April to October was stressful.”

“It actually destroyed the plans I had but my top priority, which is the same for all humans at the moment, is to be safe,” said the three-time Berlin Marathon champion.

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