Five Kenyan-born athletes are set to represent the United States at the upcoming Olympic Games in Tokyo, Japan.
The five - Paul Chelimo, Hillary Bor, Bernard Keter, Sally Kipyegon, and Aliphine Tuliamuk—are part of the 629-member US Olympic team.
1. Paul Chelimo
Chelimo, who hails from Iten in Elgeyo-Marakwet County, will represent the US in the men’s 5,000-metre run. The 30-year-old moved to the US to attend Shorter College, transferring to UNC-Greensboro. He attained US citizenship in 2014 by joining the US Army World Class Athlete Program. The Oregon resident has won three US national outdoor and four US national indoor titles.
2. Hillary Bor
Bor, 31, relocated to the US in 2007 to attend Iowa State University, where he qualified for the NCAA finals four years in a row and was second in 2009. He was initially thought to be too short to run the steeplechase due to its sturdy barriers and water jump but he proved his coach wrong. After college, Bor joined the Army, which provided a path to US citizenship in 2013.
The father of two trains with a group of Kenyan-born Americans in Colorado Springs, including his brother Emmanuel, who also competed at the Trials. He will appear for the US in the men’s 3,000m steeplechase. Bor was born in Eldoret, Uasin Gishu County.
3. Benard Keter
Like Bor, Keter will represent the US in the 3,000m steeplechase. The 29-year-old is also a member of the US Army World Class Athlete Program and trains with Bor in Colorado Springs. He hails from Molo, Nakuru County.
4. Aliphine Tuliamuk
Aliphine will represent the US in the women’s marathon at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. The 32-year-old became a U.S. citizen in 2016 after competing for Wichita State University, where she was second in the NCAA 10,000 in 2012 and 2013. She has won 10 USATF titles from 5,000m through the marathon.
5. Sally Kipyego
She will appear in the women’s marathon alongside Aliphine. Sally, 35, dominated at Texas Tech University, becoming the first woman to win three straight NCAA cross country titles and the first Kenyan woman to win a crown. She also holds six other NCAA individual titles from 3,000 meters to 10,000 meters.
She was second at the 2016 New York City Marathon and became a US citizen in January 2017. In 2012, Sally represented Kenya at the London Olympics, winning the silver medal in the 10,000 meters, adding to the silver she won a year earlier at the world championships.