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Uhuru’s glowing tribute as champ Koech is buried

Emmanuel Masinde

Former Kenya Cross Country champion Paul Koech was laid to rest yesterday at his farm in Kipsomba village Soy sub-county Uasin Gishu County.

President Uhuru Kenyatta paid a glowing tribute to the fallen hero in his message to the deceased’s family.

The President said he learnt with deep sorrow the news of Koech while undergoing treatment at Forces Memorial Hospital, Nairobi.

Uhuru described Koech As selfless, dedicated and loyal military officer who represented and defended his country with respect and honour.

“I learnt the news of Koech with sadness, he was a selfless, dedicated and loyal servant,” said the President in the speech read by Brigadier Daniel Pyaban.

Other leaders eulogised Koech led by Uasin Gishu County Governor Jackson Mandago, MP Caleb Kositany and other dignitaries including senior military officials.

Koech, who was a Major with the Kenya Defence Forces (KDF), died at the Forces Memorial Hospital last Tuesday after suffering brain tumour.

He represented Kenya in various competitions especially in cross-country, track and road running. Koech won 10,000m bronze at the All Africa Games in Harare, Zimbabwe, in 1995 before claiming 5,000m  African title in Yaounde, Cameroon, in 1996.

In road races, Paul Koech claimed gold at the 1998 IAAF World Half-Marathon Championships in Uster (60:01). He would later run three marathons and finished second at the 2003 Chicago Marathon in 2:07:07.

Koech has left behind a widow Zipporah and six children.  He was based at Kahawa Garrison.