•In the 2020/2021 financial estimates tabled by the finance CEC Alfred Lagat, Kipchoge stadium is one of the projects earmarked for completion.
•While tabling the budget estimates, Lagat said it was the wish of the governor Stephen Sang to complete all stalled projects which were initiated by his predecessor Cleophas Lagat.
Sports fraternity in Nandi could finally breath a sigh of relief as the county prepares to complete the construction of Kipchoge Keino Stadium in Kapsabet.
Nandi county in the current financial estimates has allocated Sh70 million to complete the project that stalled in 2017 while in its final stages.
In the 2020/2021 financial estimates tabled by the finance CEC Alfred Lagat, Kipchoge stadium is one of the projects earmarked for completion.
While tabling the budget estimates, Lagat said it was the wish of the governor Stephen Sang to complete all stalled projects which were initiated by his predecessor Cleophas Lagat.
The stadium is historical to the county having been named after one of Kenya's greatest athlete, Kipchoge Keino who used the field as his springboard to greatness. Kip Keino is Kenya's athletics legend who dominated the 1,500m and 3000m steeplechase during his time.
The stadium was named in his honour after his historic victory at the 1968 Commonwealth Games in Mexico City, where he won gold medal in 1,500m and a silver in 3000 steeplechase.
Keino hails from Kaptukunyo village, Kabirirsang location in Kilibwoni division—an area with the highest concentration of athletes in Kenya.
The initial plan to construction of the stadium to international standards failed after the former Nandi county governor Lagat lost to Sang in the 2017 polls.
At the time, preparations for the laying tartan track and the football pitch were underway. Sang had wanted the stadium transferred to the national government through the Ministry of Sports in order to carry-on with the final touches. However, this move failed to materialise.
This was ostensibly because the Ministry of Sports had not completed other facilities in selected regions and some contractors were reported to have left due to funding issues. The stadium has a rich history having produced some of the greatest and most celebrated athletes in the world.
A few, however, are still active while others are now in the development stage. They include Henry Rono, who broke four world records within 81 days in 1978 including 10,000m, 5,000m, 3000m steeplechase and 3000m.
Rono is remembered for his running prowess at Kipchoge Keino Stadium, where residence would flock the stadium to cheer him up. He is the most prolific competitor in the history of Kenyan track and field events.
Others who competed and started their track career at the stadium include the 1987 world 10,000 champion the late Paul Koech, 1988 Seoul Olympics 1,500m champion Peter Rono, 3000m silver medallist Peter Koech, Former 800m African record holder Sammy Kosgei and the Beijing Olympics 800m gold medallist Wilfred Bungei.
Others include 1968 Olympian- Tecla Chemabwai-sang, Bethuel Kimaiyo, Kiprotich Rono and former national athletics coach Mike Kosgei among others.
Governor Sang has another project—Eliud Kipchoge Sports Complex, which is adjacent to the stalled stadium. Lagat said the 200-bed sport training facility is one of the county’s flagship projects which must be completed within the current financial year that ends in June 2021.