- Keitanny is hopeful of representing the country at the Tokyo Olympics in 2020
- Her heroics over the past few months earned her an enviable recognition from the president himself
- The 38-year-old is one of the most accomplished runners having won seven major marathon races
Seven-time World Marathon Majors champion, Mary Keitany, was feted with the third highest civilian state commendation, the Order of the Grand Warrior (OGW) award, by President Uhuru Kenyatta.
Keitany, who won four New York Marathon titles and three London Marathons was awarded during the garden party at State House on Thursday.
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According to the National Honours Act, those who merit the decoration include; a person who exhibits exemplary qualities, or achievements of heroism, patriotism or leadership, or one who has made an exemplary contribution to the country in the economic, scientific, academic, sports, journalism, business, security or other fields.
Keitany, 37, is one Kenya's most decorated female long distance runners.
She has held five world records, starting with the women's world half marathon, 10 miles (50:05 minutes), eight kilometers, 20 kilometres (1:02:36), and 25 kilometres (1:19:53), all of which were set in road races.
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She also boats of three World half marathon gold-one individual and two team medals.
In August 2018 she was honored by the Shoe4Africa Foundation who funded and built the Mary Keitany Shoe4Africa school in Torokwonin, Baringo county, Kenya.
She missed a chance to retain the 2019 New York City Marathon title when she came second behind the world half marathon record holder and debutante Joyciline Jepkosgei in 2:23:32.
However, she is yet to win an Olympic or World title. Her best performance at the Summer Games was a fourth place finish at the 2012 London Olympics.
She joins the growing list of Kenyan sports persons including 800m World record holder David Rudisha (Order of the Burning Spear) and Elid Kipchoge, the world marathon record holder who was conferred with the highest civilian state commendation, the Elder of the Order of Golden Heart (EGH) at the last Mashujaa Day celebration in Mombasa.
Story by Elvince Joshua, TUKO.co.ke correspondent
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