Wangari, U15 ISF World Cross Country Champion, Receives Hero’s Welcome In Naivasha

Written by on May 31, 2024

Jane Wangari, who won the under 15 category at the 24th International School Federation (ISF) World Cross Country Championship at the Ngong Racecourse, Nairobi, has been feted by villagers at her native Kiambogo village, Naivasha, Nakuru County.

The shy teenager opined that the heroic welcome she received caught her by surprise.

“I never expected this… I am excited beyond words,” said the inhibited budding runner.

The Nakuru-based athlete outsprinted her contemporaries in the last lap of the 2400m race, as Kenya scooped the first eight places.

During the ceremony, the Form One student at Kiambogo Secondary School, who was flanked by family members, received a cow from the management of the Run 2gether camp.

Her mother, Alice Wanjiru, hailed her daughter’s exploits on the tracks, terming her as “disciplined and focused.”

The runner idolizes World Cross Country Champion and current 10,000m world record holder, Beatrice Chebet, and receiving a gold medal from the Head of State was her turning point.

She said many young girls are yet to realize their full potential especially at the village level.

The camp’s head coach Ibrahim Kinuthia said they started mentoring the young runner at the tender age of eight, after sporting her talent at a local primary school.

Peter Ndegwa, a trainer at the camp said he “personally” handles the young girl in training, outlining her prowess.

“She has been participating in competitions, emerging tops,” he said.

The camp’s local manager, Geoffrey Gikuni, congratulated Wangari for putting the camp on the international map.

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