Top 5 athletes who switched nationalities and cost Kenya in global championships

The country has been worst affected by numerous cases of athletes switching nationalities who have been lured by other wealthy nations for lucrative deals running into millions of dollars.

Kenyan-born Bernard Lagat announced that he had become a naturalised citizen of the United States in May 7, 2004.

No other country in the world will be relieved by this decision than Kenya.

The country has been worst affected by numerous cases of athletes switching nationalities who have been lured by other wealthy nations for lucrative deals running into millions of dollars and as a result, cost Kenyans valuable medals in global championships.

Here is a look at the top ten renowned athletes who have switched nationalities to other countries.

1. Wilson Kipketer (Denmark)

The Kenyan-born Danish former middle distance runner is one of the earliest athletes known to have switched nationalities.

Until 2012 he held the indoor world record at the 800 metres distance. While dominating the 800 m distance for a decade, remaining undefeated for a three-year period and running 8 of the 17 currently all-time fastest times.

Kipketer's 800 meters world record stood for almost 13 years. It was surpassed on 22 August 2010, when David Rudisha beat it by 0.02 seconds, running 1:41.09.

2. Saif Saaeed Shaheen (Qatar)

Saif Saaeed Shaheen formerly known as Stephen Cherono (born October 15, 1982) is a former steeplechase great.

He was born in Elgeyo Marakwet County but later represented Qatar. He currently holds the world record for 3000 metre steeplechase and is a two time World Champion in the event.

Cherono moved from Kenya to Qatar in 2003 and is reported to have received up to US $1million to become a Qatari citizen although he denied this.

Some reports stated that he had been given $US1,000 every month for the rest of his life for his change of nationality.

3. Bernard Lagat (USA)

Lagat was born in Kapsabet, Nandi County and prior to his switch to the USA, Lagat had an extensive competitive career representing his native country.

He is the American record holder in the 1500m indoors, as well as the 1500m, 3000m and 5000m outdoors, and is the Kenyan record holder at 1500 m outdoors. Lagat is the second fastest 1500m runner of all time, behind Hicham El Guerrouj.

Lagat is a 5 time Olympian (2000,2004,2008,2012 and 2016) and is a thirteen-time medalist in World Championships and Olympics including five gold medals.

In March 2005, Lagat announced that he had become a naturalised citizen of the United States in May 7, 2004. Lagat did compete for his homeland Kenya in the 2004 Summer Olympics.

4.  Lornah Kiplagat (Netherlands)

Lornah Kiplaga (born 1 May 1974) is a Dutch long-distance runner. She was born in Kabiemit in Rift Valley and went to the Netherlands in 1999. She gained Dutch citizenship in 2003 and has competed for the Netherlands since.

Besides the Marathon Dutch, Kiplagat also owns four world records.

She is the founder of African inspired Sports brand for active women called "Lornah "www.lornahsports.com. She is also the founder of the famous High Altitude Training Centre (HATC) in Iten Kenya, where athletes from all over the World go to train.

5.  Ruth Jebet (Bahrain)

Ruth Jebet (born 17 November 1996) is a long-distance runner and steeplechase specialist who competes internationally for Bahrain.

She is the current world record holder and reigning Olympic gold medalist in the 3000m steeplechase, both achieved before turning 20.

For her Olympic gold medal, she is reported to be paid USD 500,000, equivalent with 52 million Kenyan shillings.

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