“Since i gave birth,my daughter has given me extra energy”~Story and life of Faith Kipyegon

It is a Sunday afternoon, and double world champion, double Olympic champion and now double world record holder Kipyegon wants to ensure that her daughter completes her assignments before school the following day.

Stubborn as any other five-year old, Kipyegon enjoys the little fights she has with her daughter, as she says she has been her newest source of inspiration.

True to her words, because the 29-year-old has been an absolute beast since she became a mum for the first time. Kipyegon ran her then personal best just after returning from maternity leave and since then has gone on to win a world and Olympic title, and the cherry on top, running two world records in the space of a week.

“Since I gave birth to Alyne, I got extra energy. I have been pushing hard in training because mentally, I am stable. She has given me a lot of extra energy,” Kipyegon says, speaking to Capital Sports in an exclusive interview at her home, in the outskirts of Eldoret town.

The world record holder has been loud and proud about how much pride she gets in being a mother, and just like Jamaica’s 100m sprint queen Shelly-Anne Fraser Pryce, she is slowly curling her name as Kenya’s very own ‘Mummy Rocket’.

“It has been a special moment for me since Alyne arrived in this world. It has been really enjoyable. In terms of my career it has been good because I am performing well and I am also able to take good care of her and she is growing up in a nice way,” Kipyegon, a partner to 2012 Olympics 800m bronze medalist Timothy Kitum further adds.

She adds; “She (Alyne) is somebody who gives me strength every day. I push myself to the limits because I want to show her the way. She wants to be a champion as well and she always tells me that she wants to be like me. She wants to be an Olympic champion and win medals. I want to motivate her and when she grows up we will see what path she will choose.”

Kipyegon gave birth to Alyne in 2018, just two years after winning her first ever Olympic title in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. She quickly worked her way back up and in 2019, she was in Kenya’s roster for the world championships, in a bid to defend her title.

She finished second though, and she notes this was majorly because she hadn’t regained perfect shape just after returning from maternity leave.

But, Kipyegon says the years that have followed since her daughter’s birth have been the best of her career, and looking at her everyday gives her motivation to work harder.

“Being a mother and an athlete is amazing. I have enjoyed this journey every single day,” an excited Kipyegon says, a wide smile effortlessly bouncing off her face.

More often, athletes find it hard to balance both; their personal lives and careers. For most, they see having kids as a possible speed bump to their careers, but Kipyegon is among a crop of athletes and sportsmen who have proved that you can have an equally successful career, even if you take a break to start a family.

“Honestly it is not easy because you have to balance both. You have your career, and then you have your family at home. It is challenging but not something that can give you a headache. I have to know that I am an athlete and I have a career, and when I go home, I am a wife and a mother,” Kipyegon states.

She adds; “The biggest advice I can give to sports women is do what your heart wants. It is very possible to have both a successful family and a successful career. The best thing you can do is surround yourself with the right people. What has helped me a lot is the support I have received from those around me including my husband and coaches.”

Kipyegon spends at least one day of the week at home with her family, mostly Sundays, during the on-season. From Monday to Saturday afternoon, she is usually up in Kaptagat, at the Global Sports Communication Training Camp working her way.

This, she says is tough sometimes.

“I love my daughter so much and sometimes of course I do miss her because staying for a whole week without seeing her is really tough. But I am glad because I have a very good lady who helps me take care of her and my husband as well and mostly the communication is on phone. On the weekends is usually our time together and we either go out together or stay in and watch cartoons, do her homework and just bond,” she explains.

Alyne, a typical five year old toddler is full of life and loves playing around with her mum. She cheekily shows off her running skills around the compound, mimicking her mum and raising her hands up as she finishes, as though she’s also won a world record.

“Maybe she has running genes because her father was also an athlete. She will grow in a nice way and in future, we will see what she can do,” Kipyegon states.

She has grown on to become her mother’s number one cheerleader, and Kipyegon discloses after every race, they are usually on video call, the daughter congratulating her, and she says this only works to fuel her fire in a bid to become one of the greatest ever athletes.

She is already on the way to become just that as just this month, she has shattered two world records within a space of a week. In Florence, Italy, on June 2, Kipyegon achieved her long time ambition to break the 1500m world record.

Seven days later, in Paris, she achieved something even her was not expecting, a World Record in the 5,000m.

This added on to her previous accolades, world titles in 2017 and 2022 as well as her Olympic titles in 2016 and 2021.

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