Mother’s Day: Kenya’s athletics mums who are looking to light up Paris Olympics

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Mother’s Day: Kenya’s athletics mums who are looking to light up Paris Olympics

Joel Omotto 17:38 - 12.05.2024

Pulse Sports highlights a Mother’s Day special of the Kenyan athletes who are using motherhood as a key motivator towards Olympics success.

The world marked Mother’s Day on Sunday May 12 with mothers celebrated and honoured for their role and influence in society.

In sports, a number of women continue to juggle motherhood and their careers with many coming out trumps.

Kenya is not an exception and with the Paris 2024 Olympics getting closer, there are those who are using motherhood as the fuel to drive them to success in the French capital.

Peres Jepchirchir

The Olympic marathon champion is seeking to become the first woman to win back-to-back marathon golds at the Games and she has explained how her daughter Natalie is motivating her.

The 30-year-old draws motivation from her six-year-old daughter whom she will be looking to make proud as she returns to the Olympic Games in the hunt for glory.

“When I was running the London Marathon, she came and asked me, ‘Why did you come third place? Usually, you are the winner!’,” Jepchirchir told Athletics Weekly last October.

Natalie must have played a hand in motivating her mother this year as she won the London Marathon last month in a new women’s-only world record and she will be looking to build on it to win a second straight Olympics gold.

Faith Kipyegon

Like Jepchirchir, two-time Olympic 1,500m champion Faith Kipyegon is another one who gets extra energy from her daughter.

Kipyegon has reached astonishing levels of success since becoming a mother and she has admitted her daughter Alyne has played a major role.

“She (Alyne) is somebody who gives me strength every day. I push myself to the limits because I want to show her the way. She wants to be a champion as well and she always tells me that she wants to be like me,” Kipyegon told Capital Sports in June 2023.

“She wants to be an Olympic champion and win medals. I want to motivate her and when she grows up, we will see what path she will choose.”

Kipyegon has won three world titles, an Olympics gold and broken three world records since giving birth to Alyne in 2018 and there could be more in store in Paris where she is looking for a third straight gold medal in 1,500m.

Hellen Obiri

Two-time Boston Marathon champion Hellen Obiri has always had her daughter Tania at the finish line cheering her since she switched to road races.

Tania has become her mother’s cheerleader and was captured by TV cameras at the finish line in Boston in 2023 and this year as well as the New York Marathon last year, when her mother won.

“Sometimes when I go for my runs, I carry her along in the car and she just watches me. I want to give her the motivation that I’m doing something special. She usually cheers me on and she is also aware that I run the full marathon,” Obiri shared how Tania is inspiring her.

Obiri has won gold medals in track, cross country and indoor games but the Olympics title is still missing.

Having been selected in Kenya’s marathon team to the Olympics, she has a chance to claim the elusive medal and her daughter will be playing a crucial role in her preparations.

Brigid Kosgei

Former marathon world record holder Brigid Kosgei is another one who is looking to win her first Olympics gold.

Kosgei’s selection over the on-form Sharon Lokedi raised eyebrows but she has the experience to do it having claimed silver in Tokyo three years ago.

Kosgei, who is a mother to twins, has previously spoken how her husband has taken on the roles of both mother and father with her children getting accustomed to seeing her once a week when she gets a break from training.

The mother of two, however, travels with her children occasionally to races to cheer her on and is safe to say she has enjoyed the support.

Going to the Olympics, Kosgei will be counting on her family to provide the best possible environment for her preparations as she seeks a major comeback after enduring injuries and other personal issues in the past few years.

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