Aerodrome Road renamed after legend Douglas Wakiihuri

Wakiihuri was the first Kenyan to win a world marathon title

Kenya's marathon legend Douglas Wakiihuri poses next to the sign for the road that was formerly Aerodrome Road at Nyayo National Stadium on March 31, 2022, which has now been renamed Douglas Wakiihuri Road in honour of Kenya's first world marathon champion.

The Nairobi County government has re-named the Aerodrome Road after legend Douglas Wakiihuri who is the first Kenyan to win a gold medal in the marathon at the 1987 World Championships in Rome.

The Aerodrome Road that cuts on the upper side of the Nyayo National Stadium, Upper Hill, Nairobi, will now be known as Douglas Wakiihuri Road.

"I really want to express my gratitude to all the Kenyans who have supported me since 1980s, the government, and the Ministry of Sports.

"The media has been there to tell my great story and I am indebted to them," a gratitudinous Wakiihuri stated.

Wakiihuri is a man of many accolades, in 1988 he got a silver medal at the Seoul Olympics in South Korea then finished first at the London Marathon in 1989 and won gold at the Commonwealth games in 1990.

A year after completing high school in 1982, Wakiihuri seized a life-changing opportunity to train in Japan, all the while chasing his dream of running in the Olympics.

His coach, Kiyochi Nakamura, a former Japanese middle-distance runner who held the 1500m national record for 13 years, tried to get Wakiihuri into the distance.

Unfortunately, the strategy didn't work and the pair continued to look for ways to get Wakiihuri into the Olympics.

Wakiihuri was famous for running in a distinct white glove, something akin to the late pop star Michael Jackson. However, the former world champion says his strategy had more to do with tactic than fashion.

No other male Kenyan runner had ever won the marathon at World Championships or Olympic Games until 2007, when Luke Kibet became a world champion.

Born in Mombasa, Wakiihuri was raised by his mother who worked as a prison warden. Being a civil servant, she was often dispatched to different parts of the country and so Wakiihuri and his two siblings grew up in a number of places such as Meru and Nairobi.

The 58-year-old Wakiihuri was in April 30 2021, conferred the highest honour in Japan by His Majesty the Emperor of Japan, Naruhito, "The Order of the Rising Sun, Gold and Silver Rays."

This was in recognition for his many years of contribution to the development and promotion of the bilateral relationship between Kenya and Japan in the sporting and cultural fields.

On Jamhuri day 2021, President Uhuru Kenyatta conferred Wakiihuri, with the "Order of the Golden Warrior."

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