Photo by Timothy A. Clary

Kenya's Evans Chebet and Sharon Lokedi Win Big at the 2022 New York CityMarathon

Evans Chebet won the New York City Marathon men's race while Sharon Lokedi won the women's race. Both Chebet and Lokedi are from Kenya

It was a big weekend for Kenya. On Sunday, Evans Chebet won the New York City Marathon men's race while Sharon Lokedi won the women's race. Both Chebet and Lokedi are from Kenya and both were making their New York City Marathon debut.

It wasn't an easy win for Chebet. For a good portion of the race, Brazil's Daniel Do Nascimento was leading; however, Chebet, who also won the Boston Marathon earlier this year, was merely 40 seconds behind Do Nascimento. According to USA Today, Do Nascimento took an 18-second bathroom break at mile 21 and came to a complete stop a few minutes later only to find Chebet close on his heels. Do Nascimento's day ended when he collapsed to the ground with five miles to go. Chebet would finish the race in 2 hours, 8 minutes and 41 seconds, which was 13 seconds ahead of Ethiopia's Shura Kitata.

Chebet told reporters that he saw Do Nascimento go down but continued to race on. According to the Kenyan athlete, he "felt bad for him but had to continue to race."

"He knew that it was hot and humid and (Do Nascimento) was going at a high pace," Chebet said through a translator. "He has a lot of experience, and he knew he was going to surpass him."

Chebet also told interpreters that he was very thankful for the opportunity that the race gave him.

"Boston was actually harder, and it prepared him for the win for New York," Chebet said through an interpreter. "He's very thankful.

Lokedi also shared her excitement about winning, and said that her overall experience was amazing.

"I'm just so happy that I just won, you know," said Lokedi. "I'm really excited, just so happy that I did it here. The people out there, the course was amazing, the cheers, everything. I'm just thankful."

Lokedi finished her marathon in 2 minutes, 23 seconds, 23 and milliseconds, just ahead of Israel's Lonah Chemtai Salpeter.

"I didn't expect to win. I expected to run well," Lokedi said. "It was a good outcome, and I'm really excited."

(Photo by KB Mpofu/Getty Images)

Kenya & Zimbabwe Memorialize Queen Elizabeth II

Despite strong criticism about the monarch's legacy in Africa, some leaders, including Kenya's William Ruto, took to social media to describe the queen's leadership as "admirable."

On Sunday, there will be a memorial service for the late Queen Elizabeth II at the All Saints Cathedral in Nairobi in Kenya. According to a statement from the British High Commission, the service will start at 3 PM. Kenyans who plan to attend the service will also honor the British monarch by signing a condolence book.

Kenya is the latest African country to honor the queen in a memorial service. Senior Kenyan state officials members are expected to be in attendance to pay their respects to the deceased, who died on Sept. 8 after ruling for 70 years. Earlier this week, Kenya's newly instated president William Ruto signed the Condolence Book at the British High Commissioner's residence.

Kenya is not the first African country to hold a memorial service for the late royal. Earlier this week, the Farai Mutamiri, the Bishop of Harare led a memorial service at the Anglican Church in Zimbabwe for the late monarch. The service was held at the Anglican Church in the capital, Harare. During a segment of the service he he made a statement in support of the royal family.

"We think of you and we would like to reassure you of our prayers for the royal family, the new king, King Charles III and the people of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and the Commonwealth upon the death of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II", said Mutamiri.

On the heels of the Queen Elizabeth's passing, there have been mixed reactions from Africa about her death. This was largely due to the decades-long contentious relationship that Britain's leading family has had with Africa. Despite the strong reactions that several Africans had about the monarch's passing, some African leaders, including Kenya's William Ruto, took to social media to describe the queen's leadership as "admirable," a sentiment that a few of his followers firmly disagreed with.

The British monarchy has had a complicated relationship with the African continent, and it is one that is shrouded by painful memories of oppression for some, including Dr. Uju Anya, the Carnegie Mellon University who went viral for speaking about the monarchy's dark history in Africa, and it's contributions genocide in Africa. Many of Anya's sentiments were echoed by several people who agreed that Britain's first family had a problematic past and present.

The queen's state funeral will happen at London’s Westminster Abbey on Monday on September 18, and many world leaders are expected to be in attendance, including South African President Cyril Ramaphosa.

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