Felix Korir's kindness warms heart of Colombian child

Cyprian Kimutai 23:52 - 07.08.2022

Felix Kiptarus Korir might have failed to secure a gold medal in the men’s 3000m at the recently concluded World U20 Athletics Championship but he sure did win the heart of one Colombian boy.

Minutes after claiming the silver medal on August 5, Korir was busy doing his lap of honour alongside compatriot and bronze medallist Edwin Kimosong Kisalsak when he got the attention of a young boy in the stands.

The unidentified boy was sitting in the stands, holding a peculiar card. Written in fluent Kiswahili, it must have been a shock for Korir, who was 12,461 km away from home.

The boy, a Colombian had used modern technology to translate Spanish into Kiswahili. On the card, he wrote; Habari, mimi ni mwanariadha na ningejivunia kuvaa shati ya Kenya katika mbio zangu, ungenipa? (Hello, I am an athlete and would be honoured to wear a Kenyan jersey during my races, are you willing to give me one?)

The card was so precious and unique, that brought out a huge smile from the 18-year-old. Korir was so impressed by the boy's creativity and uniqueness that he swiftly removed his top and handed it to the young one.

What followed was a warm embrace between the two athletics lovers followed by a flurry of thank you's that filled the Pascual Guerrero Olympic Stadium.

Korir and Kisalsak had just finished second and third respectively in the men’s 3000m. The former came in second in 7:47.86 followed by his compatriot in 7:49.82. 

The two Kenyans were beaten to the line by Ethiopia’s Melkeneh Azize, who followed a relatively suicidal pace from the outset (57.72 at 400m, 2:00.67 at 800m) laid down by Uganda’s Dan Kibet, but Azize was strong enough to last, powering away to win the gold medal in 7:44.06.