Jemimah Sumgong was accorded a heroine’s welcome when she arrived at the the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) from Brazil on Friday night (19/8/16) after becoming the first Kenyan woman to clinch an Olympics marathon gold.
The 31 year-old champion was received by cheers and hugs from family, friends and officials at JKIA. Sumgong was decorated with wigs by her father Jacob Kogo before drinking Mursik.
She expressed gratitude to God and family for enabling her achieve such a milestone.
“I’m so excited to make history and be the first Kenyan woman to win the Olympic marathon medal, I thank God for making it possible for me and my family for their continued support, “she said.
She added that temperatures in Rio before the race made her feel uncertain of clinching any medal in the event.
“Unlike other races I’ve taken part in, the Rio marathon was a bit different because of its flat course, recurring stages and the hot climate. My compatriots and I trained well and we had a clear tactical plan to ensure the gold medal finally came to Kenya,” a confident Sumgong reiterated.
The historian has now shifted focus to the 2017 World Championships in London and a possible Olympic title defence at 2020 Tokyo Games.
“I can only pray for good health from God since if He delivered this then he will make it possible for me in London and Tokyo,” she said.
Sumgong clocked 2hr 24min 04sec for Kenya’s first-ever women’s marathon gold over the 42km course that ended at Rio’s Sambodromo with temperatures hitting 28 degrees Celsius.
She has also won the London, Rotterdam and Las Vegas Marathons, and has finished runner-up at the Boston, Chicago and New York City Marathons.