February 13, 2008 at 1:58 am #7034
While watching a group of Kenyan athletes training at the Nairobi Uhuru Gardens, 2007 World Marathon champion Luke Kibet can easily pass without notice. The 24-year-old who struck gold in Osaka has a relatively short stature compared to the seven athletes who are training with him. Even though he has been at the head of the training pack for most of the one and half hours session Kibet is not a man who seems to standout from the crowd, and on a bright day like this not even his brightly coloured training shirt is able to clearly pick him out from the group.
But by the sheer determination and will he has shown to put behind him the aching memories of what befell him on 29 December 2007, there is no arguing that Luke Kibet should shine like a beacon of hope for his troubled homeland of Kenya.
On that fateful Saturday, Kibet, like other Kenyans, was busy going about his business. He had finalised his travel arrangements from Eldoret to Nairobi, and while walking leisurely with a friend along the streets of Eldoret town, something unimagined unfolded right under his eyes.
He came face to face with the disturbing sight of a man who had been brutally shot by armed gangs and was bleeding profusely by the road side. Two more people, a woman and a child on the opposite side of the road were crying. Unsure of whom to attend to first, Kibet and his friend went for the man. It then became clear to them that they had entered a gang controlled area, a group of armed militia who were protesting about the outcome of the presidential election results, released just fifteen minutes earlier.
With the help of his athlete friend, Kibet quickly summoned an ambulance from the nearest hospital but before he could provide further assistance to the victim, his world suddenly went blank.
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