Recho Kosgei, whose video went viral after she collapsed just 800m to the finish line in Sunday’s Warsaw Marathon in Poland, arrived in the country on Tuesday and said she was fine and ready to resume training for the next race.
Kosgei said she was cleared by Polish medics to travel back after receiving treatment at a hospital in Warsaw.
Speaking to Nation Sport at the Eldoret International Airport, Kosgei said she was treated for acute dehydration after she collapsed in the last 800m in a race she was destined to win.
“I want to say that I’m very much fine after the incident. I’m heading to Kapsabet to continue with my training program,” said the mother of two.
The athlete, who comes from Kapsabet in Nandi County, was set to win the race but collapsed agonisingly close to the finishing tape.
The athlete, who has participated in nine marathons previously, said she missed a water point at the 30km mark, before grabbing one after 35km but that it was ordinary water as opposed to one specially provided for her.
“I missed the water point at the 30km mark and since we were still running with the pacemakers, they gave me at the 35km mark before dropping. There were cyclists who were giving out water and I don’t know why they left me out,” said Kosgei.
On passing the 40km mark, she was all alone cruising to victory but suddenly felt weak and dizzy.
“I was alone in front after the 40km mark and that’s when I started feeling dizzy. I tried to push myself but it was becoming quite difficult for me. I fell down some few metres to the finish line,” she said.
She said she tried to signal the race officials on the motorbikes and a leading car but that they did not help her despite her struggles.
“When I fell down, I tried to signal the officials in the motorbikes and those in the leading car to help me with water but all they could do was just stare at me,” said the athlete who was fifth in Barcelona Marathon in March.
It took almost nine minutes for her to get help from an agent of Volare Sports Management, the group she is signed to. The agent took her to a tent at the finish line.
She thanked a fellow athlete, Marek Hladik from Slovakia, who came to her rescue before she was assisted by the agent.
Kosgei is now focusing on her training as she prepares for the next race which she hopes to do well after failing to finish on Sunday.
“That’s gone now and I will be focusing on my training as I look forward to another race which I’m yet to confirm.”
The Volare Sports Management confirmed in a Facebook post the athlete missed water in the later stages of the race.
“Recho missed her bottles at 30km, 35km and 40km mark during her race. The footage of the race is really heart breaking, its torture for us as management to see this knowing the hard work the athlete has put into. Recho has arrived in Kenya well and in good health. Her determination and focus is what we admire.”
But a Polish journalist Ilona Berezowska, said the race organisers had stated that the car that was leading stopped and called her manager and the ambulance immediately.
“When the athlete fell down, the leading car stopped and we contacted her manager and the ambulance but the athlete was still struggling to continue with the race. According to the international regulations, we are not supposed to help her because she will be disqualified,” said Magdalena Srocka from Warsaw Marathon Foundation, the organiser of the event.
Kenyan Recho Kosgei, who collapsed with only 800m to the finishing line, was not assisted.