At 10.23pm on Monday, August 28, 2023, the Air France Boeing 797-9 Dreamliner gracefully descended onto the tarmac at Nairobi’s Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA), marking the end of an 8-hour and 48-minute journey through the skies.
The star passenger on this sleek twin-jet Dreamliner was undoubtedly the triple world champion, Faith Kipyegon.
She had been transported from Paris’s Charles de Gaulle Airport, her triumphant mission in Budapest, Hungary, accomplished.
Emerging from the Airbus, Kipyegon was met by a crowd of admirers—loyal fans, devoted family members, and cherished friends.
Their unwavering commitment had seen them through a two-hour delay in anticipation of this grand arrival, ready to bestow upon her a hero’s welcome.
As she stepped onto the tarmac, the triple world record holder found herself lifted onto shoulders, a gesture that caught her completely off guard.
Overwhelmed by emotions, tears of joy traced a path down her cheeks, her hands covering her face in disbelief.
“I genuinely didn’t expect this, and I’m taken aback. This kind of reception is an immense source of motivation for both me and Team Kenya. I’m truly moved and filled with emotion to be celebrated in such a profound manner,” expressed the 29-year-old athlete.
Hailing from the tranquil village of Ndabibit in Nakuru County, she is experiencing a year like no other. With three records shattered in 2023, her return from the World Athletics Championships includes two coveted gold medals.
The dual triumphs in the 1500m and 5000m races have etched her name into the annals of history, marking her as the first woman to conquer both events in a single World Championship.
Reflecting on her achievements, the double Olympic Champion in the 1500m shared, “This year has been a resounding success, and I’m brimming with joy. I set out on the right foot, confident that something exceptional awaited me.”
Following her remarkable victory in the 5000m race on Saturday, August 26, 2023, Kipyegon dedicated her win to her lesser-known husband, Timothy Kiptum, a distinguished athlete in his own right.
“This gold medal is dedicated to my husband; his unwavering support has been instrumental in my journey to success, and he’s an incredible partner,” she acknowledged.
Kiptum’s role in Kipyegon’s exceptional track achievements is undeniable. Together, they share the responsibilities of parenthood, their daughter, Alyn Kitum, born in 2018, a testament to their shared journey.