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The Pathfinders

Monday, May 06, 2002

Tecla Chemabwai Sang

Two-time Olympian. Member of 1968 Kenyan team, the first with female athletes. Competed at 1972 Olympics nine months after giving birth. First Kenyan woman to win a gold medal in international competition - in the 800 meters at the 1978 Commonwealth Games. Married to 1972 Olympic silver medalist Julius Sang. Now a university track and cross-country coach.

Tecla Chemabwai Sang still tools around Kenya in the 1980 Datsun 210 she bought while living and training in the United States. (Martha Rial, Post-Gazette)

Rose Chepyator Thomson

Twelve-time All-American at University of Wisconsin, 1979-1983. Probably the first Kenyan woman to compete when married. Wed American Norman Thomson in 1974, had two babies, returned to competition in 1977. Olympic chances hurt by Kenya boycott of 1980 Games. Now a professor at the University of Georgia researching the physiology and sociology of Kenyan runners.

Mary Chemleno

First Kenyan woman to marry a Kenyan man and not interrupt her running career. Career was shortchanged by 1980 Olympic boycott. Qualified for Commonwealth Games team in the mid-1980s when four months pregnant. Now a widowed mother of five, she farms and works as a prison guard.

Sebina Chebici

First Kenyan woman to win any type of international medal, a bronze at 1974 Commonwealth Games. Retired to have a family. Known as Petticoat Princess, for the clothes she wore when she won her first major race.

Susan Sirma

First Kenyan woman to win a medal at World Track and Field Championships; finished third at 3,000 meters in 1991. Cousin of Lornah Kiplagat, current world record holder at 20 kilometers.

Helen Chepngeno

First Kenyan woman to win world cross-country championship, in 1994. Works as a guard at a women's prison in Nairobi.

Tegla Loroupe

Two-time New York City Marathon champion. Two-time world championship medalist at 10,000 meters. Holder of the world marathon record from 1998 to October 2001. First Kenyan woman to gain international attention with 1994 victory in New York Marathon. Due to feuds with Kenyan athletic federation, she spends most of her time in Germany. Still competing.

Pauline Konga

First Kenyan woman to win an Olympic medal, a silver at 5,000 meters in 1996. Married to Paul Bitok, who also won a silver in the 5,000 meters that year. Mother of two. A guard at a women's prison in Nairobi. Still competing.

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