”The Petticoat Princess” Sabina Chebichi

Sabina Chebichi was born in 1959 in Trans-Nzoia County, northwest of Nairobi, Kenya. She attended Mlimani Primary School for her early education. She is the second oldest of nine children.

In the early 1970s, Sabina Chebichi’s name stood out from among the bevy of Kenyan schoolgirl runners. In 1973, Chebichi won her first race barefoot and wearing her school uniform in Kechiko. Thereafter dubbed the “Petticoat Princess” for the skirt in which she raced. The 14-year-old from Mlimani Primary School near Kitali was awarded a pair of spikes, her first, as well as shorts and a vest by Feisal Sherman. He was Secretary of Kenya’s Amateur Athletic Association (now Athletics Kenya).

At age 14, Sabina became the first Kenya female athlete to win a medal at the Commonwealth Games in 1974 in New Zealand. She won bronze in the 800m Women’s race and competed in the 4x400m Relay and 1,500m race. She recorded some of the fastest times in Africa for 800m and 1,500m.

Sabina’s splendid performances made the world come with an expectation of future distinction in international competitions.
“If Sabina can continue training hard, there is no reason why she should not win a medal in the Olympic Games and become the first-ever woman from Africa to do so.” One report suggested.

After bursting onto the international scene, Sabina Chebichi became pregnant, ultimately unrealizing her ambitions.

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