The Kenyan born athlete Samuel Kiprono Chelanga who changed his nationality to a USA Citizen, complained of racing in Africa despite him being born in Kenya
But just like any other event sideshows were present in the World Cross Country Championships with Kenya-USA born athlete took to twitter to slam Africa.
The Kenyan born star Samuel Kiprono Chelanga who changed his nationality to USA Citizen complained of racing in Africa despite him being born in Kenya.
Kenyans on twitter angrily reacted on the tweet that seemed to paint Africa in a bad picture.
After finishing 11th in Kampala last weekend, running in a USA jersey, Chelanga tweeted: “I wouldn’t recommend racing in Africa. Super thankful for 11th place overall.”
Chelanga changed his Citizenship to US in August 2015 after he got a track scholarship at Fairleigh Dickinson University in New Jersey.
The comment didn’t go down well with athletics fans and athletes alike, with his fellow Kenya-born US runner Stanley Kebenei, who finished 26th, criticizing his tweet.
“Weather conditions Gate River Florida was almost same in Uganda! But I guess Africa is a foreign place to Sam,” said Kebenei.
Besides Chelanga and Kebenei, USA was also represented by other former Kenyans in the Kampala races, namely Leonard Korir (20th overall in the senior men’s race) and Shadrack Kipchirchir (21st).
The US women’s team has ex-Kenyans Aliphine Chepkerer Tuliamuk, who finished 15th in the race that saw Kenya take the top six places.
Burundi’s US-based distance runner Diane Nukuru also tore into Chelanga, tweeting, under the hashtag #youstilllookafricantome: “You forgot where you came from. I bet your family is proud of you. Shame on you!”
Chelanga then sought to mitigate the fallout from his tweet, claiming it was “sarcastic” and was taken out of context, but most would have none of that.
Bernard Lagat, also born in Kenya and currently the USA’s most decorated middle-distance runner, was livid in his criticism of Chelanga’s comments.
“@SamChelanga, while IAAF tries its best to bring sports to Africa, people like you keep dragging the continent down,” tweeted Lagat, a two-time world champion and five-time Olympian.