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Kenyan Athletes to be Granted Diplomatic Passports to Ease Travel

Kipyegon’s achievement has raised eyebrows to the government and the efforts made by her did not go unnoticed as the government now is to issue diplomatic passports to ease athletes’ travel.


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The government on Tuesday rolled out a red-carpet welcome for Kenya’s star girl Faith Kipyegon who jetted into the country from Paris where she had shattered an existing 5,000m women’s record and in the process set her own.

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Ruto also said that the State will issue the athletes with diplomatic passports to make their travel easy.

“Our sports men and women who excel should be give diplomatic passports and other national honours because they do what many of us can’t do so that they can move around the world with ease and ensure they keep making our country proud,” stated the president

The president also ordered the Sports ministry to review their existing award scheme.

World-Record Breaker Faith Kipyegon

Kipyegon, running a powerful race clocked 14:05.2 to not only win the race but also set a new world record, beating the previous record holder Letesenbet Gidey of Ethiopia who came second.

Her 5,000m feat came barely a week after she set another world record in Florence Italy in the 1,500m women’s race timing 3:49.11 to her bewilderment.

And on Tuesday, the Government’s top brass led by non-other than the Head of State President William Ruto played host to the middle-distance runner at the lawns of State House.

However, upon landing at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport, Sports Cabinet Secretary Ababu Namwamba was at hand to receive her alongside Nairobi County Governor Johnson Sakaja.

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From here the delegation made its way to the Number 1 address, State House Road, where the President and his deputy Rigathi Gachagua were waiting as were a host of high-ranking government officials, as well as Kipyegon’s family.

Kenyan sprinter Ferdinand Omanyala, the reigning African champion as well as the Commonwealth Games champion was also present.

Government promises to Kenyan athletes

It is here that the government went all out to make all manner of promises to Kenyan athletes while also rewarding Kipyegon with  Sh5 million for breaking the 1,500m record and a three-bedroomed house worth Sh6 million for setting a 5,000 record.

Speaking at the event, President Ruto ordered the Sports ministry to review the existing award scheme hailing the athletes for putting Kenya on the world map.

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An emotional Kipyegon, flanked by her daughter, was moved by the gesture and at one point fought back tears of joy before announcing that “she will now keep her pledge of buying his father a car”.

In the past hue and cry has greeted the government’s lethargic treatment of athletes who endure a lot of sacrifices to bring honour and glory to the country, with some opting to switch citizenship and race for the rich nations in the Gulf.

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However, in the existing award scheme for Olympic medalists, gold medal winners get Sh1 million, Sh 750,000 for silver medalists and Sh500 000 for bronze medalists.

Omanyala was for instance last year caught up in a visa hitch, getting his American visa late for the World Championships held in Oregon USA.


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