Sports has been used in peace making process and coexistence among troubled communities across the world because of its connectivity and appealing to the masses.
Born and raised in tribal region embarked on a piece mission as a man who athletics prowess saved from Sabaot Land Defence Forces (SDLF) militia that maimed residents of Mount Elgon in Bungoma County, Western Kenya.
Komon, who holds the two world records in 10km and 15km, survived joining the militia as of his family, friends and age-mates made a cut into the group that was associated with tribal and clan clashes, raping and killing people in the vast fertile land.
The former senior world cross country silver medalist defied the odds and pursued a career in athletics as most of his peers and even his family chose to join the militia.
Coming from a polygamous family, Komon’s elder brother Wycliffe Kirui Komon alias Matwakei was the militia leader commanding a wider area of Mount Elgon area.
But his focus on athletics career was God sent since he managed to evade the killer gang.
Matakwei, being a difficult Sabaot name, he was popularly called Matakwei was killed in 2008 by the Kenyan army.
With his focus in athletics, Komon, who completed his secondary education in 2004 at Cheptais Boys High school moved to a training camp in Kitale that saved him from the outlawed militia that was accused of killing more than 600 and committing torture, rape, theft and destruction of property.
“My whole life I had dedicated to running and I dream of one day I will run for Kenya and after High school, I went to Kitwamba training camp in Kitale as I was invited by athletes like James Kwambai and luckily I did very well,” said Komon.
Komon, who has held the two world records since 2010 has fond memories of his brother and says his death was a big blow to his family.
“The death of Matwakei was really painful for me to bear but I had to accept what happened to him. I respected my brother and as Komon family we loved each other and losing him through the gun was a bad thing to have ever happened. I personally don’t believe that he planned any killing. His death was a blow to the family,” said Komon.
In 2006, he represented the country for the first time winning silver in the world junior cross country championships in Fukuoka, a turning point in his career. Unlike his fellow athletes he never celebrated his victory back at home.
“After I won silver, I went back to Kitale and my parents organized a welcoming ceremony, but it was abruptly interrupted by a villager who said it was plan to attack a local,” said Komon, opening up on the lingering doubts and suspicions around his family that began way before his brother was gunned down.
Komon has 10km (26:44) and 15km world record records that has stayed for years. At 30, had a successful debut into the seniors winning the silver at the world cross in Edinburg, after finishing fourth the previous year in the junior race in Mombasa.
He maintained his position in the team in subsequent world cross country championships but could only manage fourth in Amman (2009) and Bydgoszcz (2010).