Grand welcome for Bahraini steeplechaser Jebet back home in Kenya

By emmanuel sabuni
Aug 19, 2016
  • Ruth jebet 9C) with her father Joel Murei (L) and friends enjoy (Mursik) at the Eldoret International Airport.(Photo by Emmanuel Sabuni)

Ruth Jebet, the runner who crashed the hoped Kenyan steeplechase triumph at the ongoing Rio Olympics Games in Brazil, returned home to a grand reception.

Throngs of family members and friends were at hand to receive their heroine at the Eldoret International Airport on Friday, a moment marked by song and dance after after she outsprinted Kenya’s Hyvin Kiyeng for the gold in a world lead time 8:59.75 just about a second shy of the world record of 8:58.81 set by Gulnara Galkina of Russia.

The Bahraini was offered the tradional celebratory drink of Mursik (special treated sour milk) and donned in Sinendet(a ceremonial wear adorned around the neck), delighted to bring the gold back to her homeland of Kapsabet, Nandi County before heading to Manama, her adapted home’s capital.

After the airport reception convoy of vehicles snaked its way to Kapsabet for more celebrations.

“This is my greatest moment that I had to share with my parents before heading to Bahrain for another party. I will be leaving for Bahrain on Saturday,” said the 20-year-old.

She denied Kenya’s what would have been its gold first gold in the steeplechase at the Olympics.

The athlete who is also the Asian 3000m steeplechase champion was delighted to have won gold for Bahrain.

She said she knew her competitor Kiyeng who is the world champion over the distance would be her greatest challenger.

“I talked with her a day before the race and she said she was not well let’s go assist each other. But I took it as a joke since I didn’t know what she was planning,” Jebet said.

The athlete who comes from Chepkemel village in Nandi County switched her allegiance in the year 2012. “I moved to Bahrain after I got a sponsorship to study. I am pursuing a degree in animal health currently in fourth year,” she revealed.

She has now set her sight to the 2017 World championships in London.

“I am going to train hard as I am not ready to let the throne soon since I am focusing on the world title in London.”

Her father Joel Murei was overjoyed saying since when her daughter went to Bahrain, she has uplifted their livelihoods.

“I thank my daughter for the victory. She bought me land, cows and built me a house since when she went to Bahrain. I shed tears when she won gold,” Murei said.