Why Kenya’s 10,000m runner, Bedan Karoki, is a hero even before he runs in Rio

Bedan Karoki leading Geoffrey Kamworor during Discovery Cross Country in Eldoret

Many will agree that the chances of a Kenyan athlete winning an individual gold medal in the men’s 10,000m at the Rio Olympic Games rests heavily on Bedan Karoki. When he dropped out of the 10,000m race during Kenya’s Olympic trials due to an injury, everyone was optimistic that he would be given a wild card to join the team due to his invaluable input of team spirit. True to the fans’ expectations, he was named into the team and the hopes for the elusive 10,000m gold medal for Kenya now remain high.

One of his fans who met me in Eldoret told me he had one message for Bedan Karoki if only he would meet him before the 10,000m finals on 13th.
“I want Bedan Karoki to know that he will remain as my hero even if he steps out of the race after eight kilometers as long as he ensures that he has lead Kenyans to a good position that will ensure we get the gold medal in the men’s 10,000m as a country,” says Anderson Chirchir,  a marathon runner who has won a number of road races in Brazil, including the Rio De Janeiro Marathon in 2010.
Below are some of the qualities of Bedan Karoki and why he is a hero even if he is yet to win a major world title for himself.
1.       He is fearless
When the pace in a race goes down as other athletes keep waiting for someone to take up the job of pacing, he gets to the front and cranks it up.
2.       He works for the best interest of his team
In two major instances, he has worked with Geoffrey Kamworor to ensure that they won gold and silver at the IAAF world cross country and at the world half marathon championships.
If a fast race will favor Kenyans in a race, he is there to ensure that.
3.       He has won two silver medals for Kenya at the world championships.

Even if he has never won a gold medal, he has won two silver medals and ensured that Kenya’s flag was raised high for the world to see. This is a great achievement and a dream that many other athletes from different countries are hoping they could achieve, even once in their life-time.

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