Former World cross country champion Paul Koech received a heroic send off today in his home village of Kipsomba, Uasin Gishu County.
President Uhuru Kenyatta, the Commander in Chief send his condolences message that was delivered by Brigadier Daniel Pyaban of Kahawa Barracks.
The president in his message described the late Koech as a ‘selfless man who served this country diligently.
“Koech was a determined and selfless man in the service. We have lost a great man who was ready to work for this nation,” read the speech.
Koech was the vice chairman of Kenya Defence Forces Athletics Association based at Kahawa Barracks and succumbed to brain tumour.
Uhuru said that he learnt about his death that was astonishing.
The former world cross country silver medalist has left behind a widow Zipporah Koech with Six children.
In his athletics career, Koech ruled in all surfaces, from track to cross country and road races.
On track, Koech won 10,000m bronze at the All Africa Games in Harare, in 1995 before claiming 5,000m African title in Yaounde the following year.
He then finished sixth in10,000m at the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta and fourth in the same event at the 1997 World Championships in Athens.
In road races, Koech claimed gold at the 1998 IAAF World Half-Marathon Championships in Uster (60:01). He would later run three marathons and finished second at the 2003 Chicago Marathon in 2:07:07