Fast-rising Bethwel Yegon wins Expo 2020 Dubai Fun run
Under convective clouds Friday morning, top Kenyan athletes were among hundreds of people who took part in expo 2020 Dubai Fun marathon.
The run which had three categories - 3km, 5km and 10km - attracted individuals from different nationalities in the world who are visiting Dubai for the expo.
Bethwel Yegon, who finished second in the 2021 Berlin Marathon, won the 10km race with Jonathan Kiplimo Maiyo, who set his personal best time of 2:04:56 at the 2012 Dubai Marathon, coming second.
The two were awarded with trophies. Other Kenyan athletes who took part in the fun race include multiple world 3,000m steeplechase champion Ezekiel Kemboi, former world 800m champion Janeth Jepkosgei, 2013 London Marathon winner Priscah Jeptoo and 2010 Nagpur Half Marathon winner Hellen Nzembi.
As a participating country in the expo, Kenya through the Kenya Export Promotion and Branding Agency (Keproba) is keen on marketing Kenya as a top market destination for sports, sporting events and investments.
While receiving his trophy, Yegon encouraged other runners to visit Kenya's training camps.
"This is my first time running in the warm weather of Dubai. I'd like to invite you to come train in Kenya and experience our high altitude training centres and get an insight into the lives of Kenyan athletes and its people,” he shared.
The friendly race started at the Kenyan pavilion and ended at the Dubai exhibition centre.
Next week, the Kenyan athletes will also take part in the Dubai Run. The event, which began in 2019, will be graced by Crown Prince of Dubai HH Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum.
The Expo 2020 Dubai was initially scheduled to take place from October 20, 2020 to April 10, 2021, but it was cancelled due to Covid-19.
"Our athletes are our greatest ambassadors. Their presence at the Kenya Pavilion will boost our effort to market Kenya as a destination for investment, sports and tourism," Keproba CEO Dr. Wilfred Marube said at the flag-off ceremony for the Kenyan athletes held at a Nairobi hotel on Wednesday.
The 2021 Dubai Run is among several activities lined up for the seven athletes who will represent Kenya at the Expo 2020 Dubai.