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Kenya awaits Olympic 800m star
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19:13, September 16, 2008

A huge party is awaiting Olympic 800 meters champion and IAAF jackpot winner Pamela Jelimo who is due back on Tuesday night.

Athletics Kenya (AK) said the grand reception will start in Nairobi and climax at her home in Koro village in Kapsabet town will set-off to celebrate the achievements of the 800m runner who has blown away world athletics like a tropical storm.

"We congratulate her for crowning the World Athletics Final with a win. It is gratifying that Kenyans have done well this season and that was exemplified in Stuttgart," outgoing Athletics Kenya (AK) chairman, Isaiah Kiplagat told reporters late on Monday.

Kiplagat said plans are underway to hold momentous reception at Jelimo's Koyo village home in Kapsabet which will be led by Minister of Sport and Youth Affairs Hellen Sambili and her Higher Education counterpart Sally Kosgei and is expected to include 2,000 guests.

She is expected to land at Eldoret airport at 10 a.m. (1900 GMT) on Thursday and then proceed to her home for the celebrations.

The 18-year-old will arrive straight from the World Athletics Final (WAF) in Stuttgart, Germany where she capped an unbelievable track season with her 12th victory in the 800 meters race in championship record time of 1:56.23 that saw her pocket another Sh2 million (28,000 U. S. dollars).

Jelimo won the IAAF 1 million U.S. dollars Golden Jackpot after winning all six Golden League meetings races.

She won the continental title in Addis Ababa setting a stadium record of 1:58.70 to beat Maria Mutola and a week later she clocked 1:55.76 run in Hengelo.

Jelimo's proud mother, Rodah Keter, arrived in Nairobi on Sunday to receive her gold-laden daughter who has turned into a global icon.

"She has requested the reception to be low key here (in Nairobi)and the big party to be in her village. Jelimo will be flown to Eldoret on Thursday for the celebrations," Kiplagat added.

The AK chairman explained that the Rift Valley Provincial administration was heavily involved in providing security for the runner and she would be escorted in a convoy from Eldoret Airport to her village.

Jelimo, crowned her breakthrough year with a course record of 1:56.23 at the World Athletics Tour season ender on Sunday for her maiden WAF title.

"Today I did not have any tactics," Jelimo told IAAF. "I am a sprinter. So I can always rely on my final speed."

"I guess that I have even more talent than I showed in 2008. Next year I want to run even faster."

She made her golden league debut in the German capital Berlin where she dipped under 1:55 for the first time in what was apparently just her fifth outing over the distance, clocking 1:54.99 to displace Mutola of Mozambique as the African record holder.

Source: Xinhua

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