By Our Correspondent
Ezekiel Kemboi’s family joined a host of fans on the streets of Eldoret to cheer him while running at the ongoing Rio Olympic Games in Brazil.
Jane Kemboi, accompanied 1968 olympics gold medalist Amos Biwott, former 3,000m steeplechase world record holder Moses Kiptanui, Uasin Gishu deputy governor Daniel Chemno on the erected big screen on the Eldoret town.
It was fan for Jane who joined hundreds of fans, who shouted Baba yao as Kemboi took to the track in Brazil on Wednesday evening, finishing a distance third as new comer Conseslas Kipruto won gold for the first time in his career.
Despite Kemboi losing the race, his wife was grateful enough since he will not return home empty handed but a bronze.
“It was a great experience for him to win bronze. I have his full support since he had prepared enough,” said Jane who had accompanied the family.
Kipruto’s win, who did not gather enough fans compared to Kemboi, fans finally accepted the fact that all are Kenyan and local sons who did Kenya proud in Samba nation.
Eldoret-Uganda road was turned into a dancing floor for the fans as media, which had gathered at the point scrambled to get best shots of street madness after the fourth gold for the republic.
Traditional songs song rendered the air with joy before and after the 3000m steeplechase finals.
Pro-Ezekiel Kemboi praises since he was the favourite in the water and barriers race. But it was not to be after two-time Olympic champion Kemboi decided to relax leaving the youngster Kipruto to claim the glory.
Kipruto dashed into victory smashing Olympic record to 8:03.28 beating four-time European champion Evan Jager and Kemboi to second and third in 8:04.28 and 8:08.47.
David Kipruto said “Despite the bronze that Kemboi got, I have to congratulate him for passing the mantle to the young generation.”
Kipruto’s gold Jemimah Sumgong (marathon), David Rudisha (800m) and Faith Kipyegon (1500m).
Jane praised her husband for bringing glory to the country in his 15-year running career.
“I am very happy for my husband and I want to congratulate him for the performance. Kipruto too has done us proud and we should celebrate for the gold,” Jane said.
“My husband has been a champion and still he is since he portrayed brotherhood throughout the race and he was strong despite getting a bronze medal,” She added.
Former 10,000m silver medalist Moses tanui said the tactic was great as they had expected 1-2-3 sweep at the water and barriers but it dint work out for them.
“The tactic used was great. The mighty fight was real and that is why they managed two medals. Winning gold is not easy at the championships,” said Tanui, who competed in 10,000m winning silver during the 1992 Olympic Games in Barcelona, Spain where steeplechase won a 1-2-3 positions.
The 1968 champion Amos Biwott was full of praise for the better team work that delivered gold.
“We have been dominating the race since 1968 and it was great that Kipruto won the gold, which we have never lost as Kenyan in championships,” said Biwott who ran bare feet during his youthful days.
Uasin Gishu Deputy Governor Daniel Chemno who joined the fans to follow the action at the big screen mounted in the town said Kemboi never lost.
According to him, it was sign of passing the baton to the next generation.
“He never lost but he handed over the mantle to the next generation. Kenya has dominated the race since the year 1968 Mexico Olympics when Amos Biwott won Kenya the first medal,” Chemno said.
Biwott was present at the scene watching the race in Eldoret and he congratulated the team.