•The West Pokot born runner has offered his seven single self-contained houses in Mororia area—3km from Iten town—to the athletes in a bid to cushion them during this coronavirus period.
•Lotiang was picked to represent the country at the Commonwealth Games in 2018 after breaking the Cardiff Half Marathon course record (60:40) in 2017.
Former Cardiff Half Marathon champion John Kipsang Lotiang has offered his rental houses for free to the suffering athletes, owing to the financial impact prompted by coronavirus pandemic.
The West Pokot born runner has offered his seven single self-contained houses in Mororia area—3km from Iten town—to the athletes in a bid to cushion them during this coronavirus period.
" I know how my counterparts, especially the upcoming ones, are suffering. Most of them have no fall back plan and I wanted to cushion them in my small way. I hope my small gesture will go a long way in keeping them going," he added.
He said he won a number of races across the world last year and it's only fair to give back to the society.
" It's only fair to share what I have with my fellow athletes since I had a good harvest last year. I thank God because I can take care of myself having been showered with blessings last year," he added.
“I have recently received many distress calls from athletes seeking help to settle their rent, buy food or assist them in any way to sustain their respective families. But because I don’t have money to give out after all my races this year were cancelled, I decided to give them a home,” said Lotiang, who was placed fourth at 2018 Commonwealth Half Marathon in Gold Coast, Australia.
This year, Lotiang, who is also the Cardiff Half Marathon course record holder, was set to launch his marathon debut in Wuhan,China— a city where the first coronavirus case was reported. This was to be followed by Istanbul Half Marathon and Ottawa Marathon in April but both events were cancelled.
“After I finished building the houses two week ago, they were vacant and because there were no tenants to occupy, I decided to offer them to the athletes for free. This was the best way I could help them. Lack of money is a big challenge for many athletes in this country,” he said.
Lotiang was picked to represent the country at the Commonwealth Games in 2018 after breaking the Cardiff Half Marathon course record (60:40) in 2017.