Valentine Jepkorir was able to catch a flight to Moscow two days later.
If Kenyan marathoner Valentine Jepkorir doesn’t win Saturday’s women’s marathon at the IAAF World Championships, she can’t claim fatigue as an excuse.
Jepkorir missed the team’s flight to Moscow Tuesday morning after … oversleeping in a hotel room.
Jepkorir’s teammates and coaches were in adjacent rooms but apparently nobody realized she wasn’t on the flight.
Making matters worse was a fire at the Joma Kenyatta International Airport this week that led to the closure of the busiest airport in Kenya and the cancellation of several flights.
The Kenyan team was supposed to leave on Monday, but the fire forced a change in plans. The squad was taken to a hotel that night and was rebooked on a Moscow-bound flight the next morning.
The lack of checks to ensure that all athletes were en route to the airport led to Jepkorir being left behind. That, and the simple fact that she just didn’t wake up.
“I was sleeping in my room when I woke up to find the team had left,” Jepkorir said in the Standard. “I knocked on the next door but there was no response. When I went down to the lobby, I was informed that the team had left.”
Like all good stories, however, this one has a happy ending. Jepkorir caught a flight on Thursday that took her through Amsterdam before heading to Moscow.
“I am grateful that I could finally secure a flight,” she said. “I am not worried about arriving in Moscow a day before the competition. Let me reach there and give it my best shot.”