Lorna Chemtai Salpeter has made a name for herself in the ongoing World Athletic Championships in Oregon, USA after winning a Bronze medal for her second home Israel.
Chemtai scooped the medal after completing the 42km race in 2:20:18 behind Ethiopia’s Gotytom Gebreslase, who won gold, and Kenya’s Judith Jeptum Korir who settled for a silver.
She became the third person to win a medal for the country at the world championships after Aleksandr Averbukh in 1999(bronze) and 2001(silver) in the pole vault and Hanna Knyazveya-Minenko who won a silver medal in 2015 in triple jump.
From her stunning performance in Oregon, Chemtai will allegedly take home Kshs2.6 million.
Her journey to such a remarkable performance is however interesting. The athlete was born and raised in West Pokot, Kenya. She left Kenya in 2008 to work as a househelp for a Kenyan diplomat at the Kenyan Embassy in Israel. The diplomat’s family was staying in Herzliya, Israel.
Her talent in running was discovered when she was casually running at a park and was immediately connected to a professional running club. During her stay in Israel, she was introduced to Dan Salpeter, a coach, in 2011 who later became her husband.
“While casually running in the park, someone saw her talent and connected her with a professional running club. From there, she became an Israeli and an elite athlete. A legend comes true,” narrated the Israel Minister of Culture and Sports, Chili Tropper.
Chemtai and Dan got married in 2014 in Kenya before relocating to Israel. They have a son together who was born in December 2014. The 34-year old became an Israel citizen in March 2016 following her marriage to the country’s citizen.
Dan is a former middle-distance and mountain runner and still serves as her coach. On the other hand Chemtai began running marathons in 2014. Previously, she engaged in short races.