5 Kenyan Athletes Who Earned Millions, Went Broke

  • A side by side image of former athletes, Raymond Yator and Delilah Asiago.
    A side by side image of former athletes, Raymond Yator (top) and Delilah Asiago.
    Canva
  • Kenyan Athletes are hailed for their prowess in the sports industry- winning the hearts of millions of fans with their skills on the track. However, in some cases, their fortune fades and they become a pale shadow of their former selves. 

    Kenyans.co.ke takes a look at five athletes whose illustrious moments in the sun became a distant memory. 

    Delilah Asiago

    Delilah Asiago's heart-wrenching story of the proverbial rags to riches adage, caught the country's attention during the latter days of 2021.

    A side-by-side image of former Kenyan athlete Delilah Asiago during the 1991 IAAF World Championships (left) and picking tea in Cherangany, Trans Nzoia County.
    A side-by-side image of former Kenyan athlete Delilah Asiago during the 1991 IAAF World Championships (left) and picking tea in Cherangany, Trans Nzoia County.
    File

    During the 1990s,  Asiago scooped gold medals in events such as the Steamboat Classic where she set a world record, All Africa Games, World Championships, Bay to Breakers event where she set a 12 kilometre world record among others.

    In the process, she earned millions from clinching gold at these international events. However, the former athlete now picks tea in Cherangany, Trans Nzoia County.

    Speaking to the media, she noted that she could not account for her millions but urged other athletes to save their fortune as it could whisk away.

    Mathew Kipkoech Kisorio 

    Kisorio is an acclaimed long-distance athlete who set a marathon best of 2:10:58 hours and a half marathon best of 58:46 minutes. The latter is regarded as one of the world's top five best times for the race. 

    He also clinched the Philadelphia Half Marathon, Kagawa Marugume Half Marathon and Stramilano races. However, the athlete admitted to having squandered his money during the early stages of his career.

    “I did not have anyone to advice me on how to use my money wisely,” he stated noting that athletes ought to invest in financial literacy.

    Raymond Yator

    Arguably one of the most talented athletes to ever lace a pair of boots, Yator is renowned for breaking the World Junior 3,000 metres steeplechase record. Growing up in Elgeyo Marakwet County, Yator began training with top class athletes such as Patrick Sang and Reuben Kosgei. At just 18 years of age, he scooped a gold medal at the 1999 African Junior Athletics Championships. 

    The following year, he was ranked as the fourth fastest athlete in the world- establishing his name among the all-time top ten for the distance. His impressive form continued up until 2003, after which his life took a drastic turn due to the onset of alcoholism. 

    After a decade of battling with addiction, he attempted to return to the track but lacked the facilities and support to restart his career.

    Anthony Kiprono

    Kiprono gained world recognition when he represented Kenya in the World Cross-Country Championships and won lucrative races abroad.

    The former World Junior 5,000 metres athlete's Achilles' heel was his wife, whom he claimed swindled him out of all his money.

    "Help me out of this situation,” he begged. “I am a frustrated man even after making a name for this country. My wife swindled me of all my money and left me in poverty.

    “I now do manual jobs here and there to earn Ksh200 or Ksh300, which helps me buy a tin of maize and some household items. It’s just terrible. I need help,” he previously spoke to the media.

    Peter Kosgei

    Much like Kiprono, Peter Kosgei also represented Kenya in the World Cross-Country Championships. Kosgei scooped gold in various national and international events- pocketing loads of cash in the process. However, he currently noted that his millions do not resemble his current lifestyle.

     “I made at least Ksh5 million in athletics. But I have nothing now except a half acre piece of land I bought in Kerio Valley. I think I need to get back to serious athletics to escape poverty,” he previously stated.

    Sam Aduke, a development manager at a local company, noted that no one prepares the athletes for stardom hence it's essential for them to undergo financial training to ensure they do not get engulfed in the vices that fame brings about. 

    An athlete celebrates with a Kenyan flag after winning a race
    An athlete celebrates with a Kenyan flag after winning a race.
    AthleticsKenya
    alcohol