Former athlete Tegla sang has welcomed the move by the government to change the name of Kericho Green Stadium to Wilson Kipkurugut Chumo Stadium.
During the Mashujaa Day celebrations held in Kericho County, President William Ruto announced that the facility will now be known as the Kipkurgut Chumo Stadium.
The move is aimed at celebrating the first Kenyan to win an Olympic medal—the 800m bronze —during the 1964 Olympic Games in Tokyo, Japan.
“Allow me to celebrate Kiprugut Chumo, the first Kenyan to win an Olympic medal by renaming the Kericho Green Stadium in his name,” he noted.
Sang, a former All Africa Games 400m champion, said the government is doing a good thing to support the legends who brought fame to the country.
“This is a good move to celebrate legends that brought fame to the nation,” said Sang, the first Kenyan to compete for the country at the 1968 Olympic Games in Mexico City, Mexico.
The late Chumo, who was the first Kenyan to win an Olympic medal for the country, died last year aged 84.
Sang said as much as the government’s move is good, it’s long overdue. ” We don’t have to wait for some athletes to die to recognize them,” she noted.
She said the government should also offer monetary awards to retired athletes because they did not earn much during their time.
“Majority of former athletes did not earn any money from running, unlike the current athletes. With the government handing goodies to any medal winner, they should always remember those who laid that foundation,” she said.
She added that medical insurance for retired athletes would go a long way in cushioning them during their current old age.
Sang cited Nyantika Maiyoro, Amos Biwott, Kipchoge Keino, the late Naftali Temo, Naftali Bon, Ben Jipcho, Lydia Stephens, Elizabeth Jemeli Chesire, Hezekiah Nyamau, and Charles Asati as other deserving cases in as far as recognition and awards is concerned.