Government eulogises Paul Tergat's mother
NOC-K president Paul Tergat. [Jonah Onyango, Standard]

Former world marathon record-holder Paul Tergat has lost his mother, Sports Cabinet Secretary Ambassador Amina Mohamed confirmed on Wednesday.

CS Mohamed eulogised Mama Esther Toyoi Kipkuna as a woman who instilled values of discipline, hard work and determinate purpose upon a generation that served the community and country with fervour and admirable commitment.

The Sports CS said Tergat’s mother was a prominent farmer, devoted Christian and lived a life guided by the values of humility, generosity, gratitude and compassion.

“It is with deep sorrow that I have learnt of the passing of Mama Esther Toyoi Kipkuna, dear and loving mother to Kenya’s Global Athletic Icon Dr Paul Tergat. She was a caring, selfless and kind mother who raised Dr Tergat and all of her children with great counsel and careful direction.

“I thank her ever so dearly for bringing us an athletic icon who continues to immensely contribute to the development of sports in Kenya and around the world,” CS Mohamed said in a statement seen by Standard Sports.

She added: “On my own behalf, that of the Ministry of Sports, Culture and Heritage, Hon Hassan Noor Hassan, Chief Administrative Secretary, Joe Okudo, Principal Secretary for Sports Josephta Mukobe, Principal Secretary for Culture and Heritage and in solidarity with the entire sporting fraternity, I pray that the Almighty God grants Dr Paul Tergat and the entire family of the late Mama Esther Toyoi Kipkuna the fortitude to bear this loss.”

Tergat, the National Olympic Committee of Kenya (NOC-K) president, in May, demonstrated one of the values his mother taught him after asking the Government to criminalise doping.

The former professional long-distance runner stated the country must move with speed and create a new law that will criminalise the offence.

“We all ran clean and we want our current crop of athletes to run clean. There’s no shortcut to clean sports except training hard.

“So many things have been happening right, left and centre regarding doping in Kenya. Kenya now needs to be tough on dopers by criminalising their offences. They will suffer double loss to revenue and time in jail if they are found doping,” said Tergat.

He added: “At the current rate, Kenya risks being banned from the Olympics or big city’s marathons. What we need to do is make the punishment for offenders more punitive.

“This will also bar offenders from putting on our national colours and make them ineligible to compete elsewhere.”

Current Kenyan law stipulates a jail term of up to three years for support staff found guilty in connection with doping, but not for athletes.

Government eulogises Paul Tergat's mother
Paul Tergat and Haile Gebrselassie in the 10,000m at the 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney. [PHOTO/IAAF/Getty Images]

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