Thursday, September 16, 1999

Eldoret salutes Ng'eny the hero

By NATION Correspondent

Kenya's 1,500 metres running sensation Noah Ng'eny made a heroic arrival at the Eldoret International Airport at about mid day yesterday.

He was received by both political and religious leaders, athletes and family members.

Hundreds of elderly women who had braved the hot mid-day sun broke into ululation when the medium height athlete embarked from the Africa Express plane.

Wearing a brown suit, Ng'eny had a hectic time as all present surged forward to hug him and have a feel of the silver medal which dangled from his neck. He won the medal at the World Athletics Championships in Seville, Spain last month.

It was special day at the airport as those "guests" were allowed free entry into the passengers' alighting area.

Several civic leaders from Eldoret North area where the athlete hails from, led by the Wareng County Council chairman Moses Keter. were among those who were at the airport to receive their hero.

Ngeny comes from Kabenes village in Kipsangui location, Ziwa division of Uasin Gishu district.

A convoy of about fifty vehicle led by a police 999 patrol car, escorted the athlete from the airport and made a brief stop over at the Eldoret municipal council town hall before heading to the runner's rural home for an elaborate reception.

Among the fellow athletes at the airport were, Lucas Sang - retired 800m runner who co-ordinated the reception arrangements, two-time Boston Marathon winner Moses Tanui and his wife Leah, David Kiptoo who runs 1500 metres, 1988 Seoul, Korea Olympic 1500m gold medalists Peter Rono among others.

A part from the silver medal, Ng'eny, has made himself a name by erasing Sebastian Coe's longest standing 1000m world record. His last event was at the finals of the Grand Prix circuit held in Munich, Germany last week where he won the 1500m race in 3:28.9.

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