Jemima Sumgong has made history for her home nation of Kenya; she has taken gold in the Women’s Marathon on Sunday, in a time of 2 hours, 24 minutes and 4 seconds. A feat that no Kenyan woman has ever accomplished before. This makes quite the year for Sumgong, as she also won the London Marathon earlier in the year.
But it wasn’t as easy for Sumgong as she would have hoped; just before the finish, a group of protestors jumped the barriers and had to be stopped by police officers on motorcycles. Luckily, the protestors did not faze the athletes. Sumgong had the following to say about the disturbance: ““I was scared. I was thinking … if not me, he could grab one of my colleagues.”
She never lost faith in herself, a trait that is to respected. ““I was never worried that I’d lose this,” Sumgong stated after the race, clutching her winnings.
While Jemima Sumgong is the first Kenyan woman to win Gold in the marathon, she is actually only the third Kenyan woman to ever become an Olympic champion, a hallowed group indeed. Following wins from Pamela Jelimo and Nancy Jebet Langat at the 2008 Beijing Games, Sumgong has truly won for Africa.
Let us hope that there are many more wins for Africa in the coming events, check back frequently for more updates and headlines as they come.
Featured Image via REUTERS/Sergio Moraes