Stephen Mwaniki, a veteran athletics coach has voiced his disappointment with Kenyans for their apparent disrespect towards marathon legend Eliud Kipchoge.
He’s concerned about efforts to drive a wedge between Kipchoge and the current world marathon record holder, Kelvin Kiptum.
Kipchoge set a new world record of 2:01:09 in Berlin last year, surpassing his previous record of 2:01:39.
However, Kiptum recently broke this record with an incredible time of 2:00:35 last week at the Chicago marathon.
The recent social media discussions in Kenya have centered around Kipchoge’s failure to publicly congratulate Kiptum.
The conversation revolved around what some Kenyans referred to as Kipchoge’s lack of sportsmanship for not acknowledging his compatriot’s accomplishments.
Read Also: Kelvin Kiptum: I am Ready for Kipchoge
However, Mwaniki believes that this criticism is unjustified and disrespectful.
“There is a wedge that has been drawn by social media, first we have to respect Kipchoge, he has done a lot for this country and now when people talk about congratulating Kiptum, it is like trying to create some kind of rivalry,” Mwaniki told Pulse Sports.
Mwaniki believes the rivalry being created is not good for Kenya particularly ahead of the Paris 2024 Olympics.
Subscribe to Switch TV for more exciting content
He doubts that they can collaborate effectively in the upcoming Olympics if their relationship remains strained.
“Though Kipchoge’s age is not on his side, he can still do it. What we need to do as Kenyans is to bring them together not drive a wedge between them,” Mwaniki added.
As both athletes aim for future endeavors, like the Paris 2024 Olympics, nurturing a supportive atmosphere is crucial for their collective success and the honour of their country.