Two-time Olympic marathon gold medalist honored with coveted Japan award
World Marathon record holder and two-time Olympics gold medallist Eliud Kipchoge was on Thursday evening honored with one of Japan’s most coveted and highest traditional awards, the Samurai Kabuto helmet.
Kipchoge was presented with the special helmet by the company’s board Chairman Hiroshi Hisatomi on behalf of Isuzu Motors Limited Japan President, Masanori Katayama at a special dinner reception hosted by Isuzu East Africa in Nairobi.
The helmet is traditionally worn by Samurai warriors and was presented to Kipchoge feted for his long list of achievements in which he has set world records and broken barriers in his stellar athletics career.
Among the dignitaries at the Isuzu event was Hon Betty Maina, Cabinet Secretary, Ministry of Industrialization, Trade and Enterprise Development and Ryoichi Horie, Japan’s Ambassador to Kenya.
Speaking during the dinner hosted in honour of Kipchoge, Rita Kavashe who is Isuzu East Africa’s Managing Director said “The Isuzu partnership with Eliud has been bound together by seasons of great achievement for both parties during which Eliud set the Berlin marathon record, beat the INEOS 1:59 Challenge and won the 2020 Olympic Marathon Gold Medal in Japan.
At the same time, Isuzu East Africa introduced the best-selling seventh generation vehicles, took the top position in vehicle sales market share at 45.4% and produced the 100,000th vehicle from its assembly line in Nairobi” She said.
The Japanese Ambassador to Kenya H.E Ryoichi Horie attended the event and praised the cooperation between Kenya and Japan which has resulted in tangible development in trade, environment, social causes and sports.
“Kenya and Japan have had a long relationship in trade and sports. Isuzu, a leading Japanese brand, is prominent in the provision of PSV transport solutions, construction, school transport, agri-business and last mile delivery solutions in Kenya”. he said.
“Similarly, many Kenyan athletes have also built and grown their careers and found much success in Japan” the diplomat said.
Presenting the Samurai award, Isuzu East Africa Chairman Hiroshi Hisatomi conveyed the congratulatory message from the Isuzu Japan President Masanori.
He said. “Persons with the character of Eliud Kipchoge’s happen rarely in the world. His achievements are legendary but he still finds time to focus on the development of young athletes, promotion of environmental protection initiatives and expansion of educational opportunities for children by establishing the Kipchoge Foundation”. Hiroshi said.
At the presentation ceremony, Kipchoge signed a new two-year contract with Isuzu East Africa as a Brand Ambassador for the Isuzu D-Max Pick up. He will represent Isuzu in Kenya and engage in local activities to promote the D-Max.
Kipchoge was gifted two Isuzu Dmax pickups after his record breaking wins in the Berlin Marathon in 2018 and after beating the clock in the sub 2 hour.