Tag Archives: Edna Kiplagat

Diana Kipyokei banned for six years for doping

The 2021 Boston Marathon champion, Diana Kipyokei been banned six years by Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU) for the presence of a prohibited substance metabolite of triamcinolone acetonide (a corticosteroid), which is a breach of the World Athletics Anti-Doping Rules.

The 28 year-old was also stripped the Boston title for also providing false information to anti-doping officials.

Kipyokei then provided false and/or misleading information in trying to explain her positive test, “including fake documentation which she alleged came from a hospital,” according to the Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU), which handles doping cases in track and field.

She will not challenge the charges, according to the AIU.

Kipyokei, who was making her World Marathon Major debut, took the Boston honors in a time of 2:24.45, beating double World Marathon champion, Edna Kiplagat by 24 seconds. The 42 year-old has been upgraded to champion, making her the oldest runner to win the Boston Marathon in its history dating to 1897.

Kipyokei visited a doctor in September 2021 who gave her cortisone injections into her Achilles tendon, which the AIU said was not triamcinolone acetonide. She said that doctor had given her “a cortisone” injection, stating it must have been a banned substance.

Kipyokei was asked to provide doctor’s evidence and she went ahead to bribe Dr. David Njenga Kshs 20,000 to falsify documents, which were later found by AIU to be false.

Sharon Lokedi wins New York City Marathon

Newcomer Sharon Lokedi from Kenya was the surprise winner at the 50th edition of the TCS New York City Marathon, a World Athletics Platinum Race and a World Marathon Major competition held on Sunday (06) in New York.

Lokedi who is a fiance to the17-time NCAA champion collegiate distance runner for the University of Oregon, Edward Cheserek, became the 8th person in New York City marathon history, man or woman, to win in her marathon debut in a personal best of 2:23.23.

The 28 year-old was followed by the World bronze medallist, Kenyan-born Israeli Lonah Chemtai Salpeter who crossed the line in second in 2:23.30 with the reigning World marathon champion Gotytom Gebrselase from Ethiopia coming home in third place in 2:23.39.

When Lokedi was 14, her family fled their home village of Burnt Forest that became an area of violence after a Kenyan presidential election. For a month, the family lived with no shelter or a steady source of food before returning after the conflict ended.

Two times World Marathon champion Edna Ngeringwony Kiplagat came home in fourth with Viola Cheptoo who finished behind Olympic champion Peres Jepchirchir on her marathon debut in the American city last year crossing the line in fifth in 2:25.34.

Double World 5000m champion Hellen Obiri who was also making her marathon debut finished in sixth place with a personal best of  2:25.49 with former Kenyan now trading for United States Aliphine Tuliamuk finishing in seventh place in 2:26.18.

Hellen Obiri to battle Gotytom Gebrselase and Ednah Kiplagat in New York

Doubel world 5000m champion Hellen Obiri, will battle World marathon champion Gotytom Gebrselase at the 50th edition of the TCS New York City Marathon, a World Athletics Platinum Race and a World Marathon Major competition that will be held on Sunday (06) in New York.

Gebrselase comes to this race with second fastest time on paper of 2:18.11 that she got at 2022 World Athletics Championships where she broke the championship record. Gebrselase also took the honors at 2021 Berlin Marathon in a time of 2:20.09 and was also third at the Tokyo Marathon where she ran her second fastest time of 2:18.18.

“Winning the World Championships was like a dream. I am honored to run my next marathon in New York. Its home to the biggest marathon in the world, and many athletes have run there. I understand it’s a challenging course, and I am looking forward to seeing further success there,” said Gebrselase.

The 27 year-old will face off with Obiri who will be making her marathon debut in New York. The Kenyan won two Olympic silver medals in Rio de Janeiro in 2016 and Tokyo 2021, and the world Cross Country title in Ahrus in 2019. The 32 year-old also won the world silver medal in 10000m in Eugene last July. On the road, Obiri finished second when setting personal best of 1:04.22 at the Ras Al Khaimah Half Marathon and won two half marathon races in Istanbul in 1:04.48 and at the Great North Run in Newcastle in 1:07.05. Over shorter road distances, she won the 10 km Great Manchester Run. Obiri moved from Ngong to Boulder to start training with three-time Olympian Dathan Ritzenheim and the two-time world marathon champion Edna Kiplagat, who live in Boulder,Colorado.

“Everyone has been welcoming, and the training environment is perfect. Training is very similar in Kenya. The biggest challenge has been being away from my family, as I miss them a lot. I have often watched the New York race on TV and seen my Kenyan colleagues compete there. I know that New York is a tough course, but I hope my experience on the track, cross country and the roads will help me navigate the ups and downs,” said Obiri.

Another title contender is Kiplagat who holds three World Marathon races in New York in 2010, London in 2014, and Boston in 2017. The 42-year-old finished fourth at the 2022 Boston Marathon with a time of 2:21.40 smashing her own personal best of 2:19.50 that she got at the 2012 London marathon.

The 2020 Tokyo Marathon winner, Kenyan-born Israeli Lonah Chemtai Salpeter comes to this race with the fastest time on paper of 2:17.45. Salpeter won the bronze medal in Eugen with a time of 2:20.18. On the track, Salpeter won the gold medal in the 10000m at the2018  European Championships in Berlin and the European bronze medal over the same distance in Munich 2022. Salpeter hopes that the world bronze medal in Eugene will be a springboard for a top-three finish in her debut at the New York Marathon.

“It has been my dream to compete at the New York Marathon for a long time. I am just looking to try and achieve another podium,” said Salpeter.

The 2015 world 5000m silver medallist, Senbere Teferi will be looking to become the first Ethiopian to win the New York Half Marathon, the New York Mini 10 km, and the TCS New York Marathon in the same year.

Another top athlete to watch is Viola Cheptoo, who finished second in New York last year in a time of 2:22.44. The 33 year-old is the younger sister to former 1500m and 5000m world champion Bernard Lagat, also finished sixth at the Boston Marathon in 2:23.47 and won the Naples Half Marathon in 1:06:47 in 2020.

Newcomer Sharon Lokedi from Kenya will return to New York, where she set her personal best in half marathon of 1:08.14 last March.

United States Marathon National record holder Keira D’Amato, will carry the hopes of her country as she comes to this race with a personal best of 2:19.12 that she got in January in Houston.

The line-up also features Emma Bates who was second in Chicago in 2021 with a time of 2:24.20 and seventh at the World Championships in Eugene where she got her personal best of 2:23.18.

The 2019 Rotterdam bronze medallist United States Aliphine Tuliamuk will also be on start line up as she comes to this race with a personal best of 2:26.50.



KEIRA D’AMATO  38 USA 2:19:12
DES LINDEN  39 USA 2:22:28
MAO UESUGI  26 JPN 2:22:29
EMMA BATES  30 USA 2:23:18
GERDA STEYN  32 RSA 2:25:28
NELL ROJAS  34 USA 2:25:57
GRACE KAHURA  29 KEN 2:30:32
SARAH PAGANO  31 USA 2:33:11
KAYLA LAMPE  29 USA 2:38:25


Diana Kipyokei is completely guilty, agent says

The agent of suspended Boston Marathon winner Diana Kipyokei has alleged she is “completely guilty” after her provisional sanction by the Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU).

Kenya’s Kipyokei won the women’s race in Boston last year but failed a drugs test for triamcinolone immediately afterwards.

She has also been charged with “obstructing or delaying the AIU’s investigation through the provision of false information or documentation”.

Both Kipyokei and fellow Kenyan marathon runner Betty Wilson Lempus – who has been charged with tampering a probe into her own failed triamcinolone test – are represented by Italian Gianni Demadonna.

He told LetsRun: “We establish a policy – they have to tell us every time they take a medicine.

“If they don’t tell us, they are guilty.

“What can I do?

“I cannot stay with the athletes.

“I cannot live with them.

“After 30 years, I am working this business and nobody can say to me ‘you are not correct or you are doing things that are not correct’.

“I can defend myself always without any problem.

“I am so, so sad about this situation that spoiled my name and spoiled the name of [clean] athletes that are doing their own training – not with something else.”

Demadonna added that 28-year-old Kipyokei, whose surname has also been spelt Kipyogei, told him a doctor had prescribed her triamcinolone but that her story was inconsistent.

“She never said to us the real name of the doctor,” he said.

“I don’t know if she’s afraid of consequences.

“But as far as we understood, she was trying to cheat us.

“She gave us some stories, and we said, ‘sorry, but you changed three times the name of the doctor’.

“Diana is completely guilty.

“I am sorry.

“She has done something very bad.”

The AIU said that Kipyokei would be disqualified as Boston Marathon champion if the allegations against her are proven.

Her case will be heard and she will also have the right to appeal.

Kipyokei won the race, one of the World Marathon Majors, in 2 hours 24min 45sec on October 11 last year, beating fellow Kenyan and two-time world marathon champion Edna Kiplagat into second place.

Diana Kipyokei has been charged after a failed drugs test and for alleged obstruction of an investigation ©Getty Images

“The Boston Athletic Association (BAA) has received the Athletics Integrity Unit findings in regards to Diana Kipyokei,” a statement from race organisers said.

“As a result of the AIU findings and in conformance with World Athletics and BAA event rules, Kipyokei’s result in the 2021 Boston Marathon will be disqualified, pending the completion of relevant athlete appeals processes.

“The Boston Athletic Association supports strict anti-doping measures to ensure fair competition and clean sport.

“Athletes in the professional divisions at the Boston Marathon are tested in accordance with the guidelines set forth by World Athletics, the World Anti-Doping Agency, and the United States Anti-Doping Agency.

“The BAA is committed to providing a fair environment for competition and supports all measures that ensure the integrity of the sport.

“The BAA will adjust race rankings and will provide prize award adjustments to top finishers of the 2021 event, pending the sanctioning.”

Triamcinolone, a type of steroid, is usually used to treat skin conditions and rheumatic disorders and is included on the World Anti-Doping Agency banned list.

It has become a problem substance in Kenyan athletics as 10 athletes tested positive between 2021 and this year.

The AIU said that in the same period globally, only two athletes from other countries had failed a test for triamcinolone.

Only three Kenyans tested positive between 2017 and 2020, suggesting a growing trend.

Mark Kangogo, a Kenyan who won the Sierre-Zinal 2022 mountain race in Switzerland, was last week banned for three years after triamcinolone was detected in his sample.

Four other cases involving Kenyans and the substance are currently ongoing at the AIU.

Senbere Teferi wins New York City half marathon

Ethiopia’s Senbere Teferi won the 21km women race at the New York City half marathon that was held on Sunday (20) in New York.

Teferi took charge of the race withe 1km remaining but Irene Cheptei gave her a hard time as she remained on her sholuder till the 50metre that the ethiopian made a final kick to forge ahead and cut the tape in a time of 1:0735 with Cheptai forced to settle in second place when she crossed the line two seconds later.

the 2016 European 10000m bronze medallist, Karoline Bjerkeli Grøvdal from Norway closed the podium finishes in a time of 1:08.07.

Another kenyan Sharon Lokedi from Kenya   and the 2016 Pan American Games silver medallist Lindsay Flanagan came home in fourth and fifth place in a time of 1:08.14 and 1:09.50 respectively.

The two times World marathon Champion, Edna Kiplagat who now resides in the United States finished in tenth position in a time of 1:10.22.

  1. Senbere Teferi        (ETH) 1:07.35
  2. Irene Cheptai         (KEN) 1:07.37
  3. Karoline Grovdal   (NOR) 1:08.07
  4. Sharon Lokedi        (KEN) 1:08.14
  5. Lindsay Flanagan  (USA) 1:09.50

Boston Marathon: All-time men’s, women’s winners

Japan’s Yuki Kawauchi and American Desiree Linden got to add their names to the list of Boston Marathon winners in 2018.

Kawauchi became the first Japanese men’s winner since 1987 and Linden became the first woman to win from the U.S. since 1985.

The Boston Marathon is the longest running marathon in the world. It’s been held annually since 1897. The first 69 years of the race were run by only men, with women starting to unofficially compete in 1966, then officially in 1972. The race, held on Patriots Day in the greater metro area of Boston, is also the first to incorporate a wheelchair division, starting in 1975.

Clarence DeMar holds the record for most men’s wins with seven while Catherine Ndereba has the most women’s wins with four.

Below is the all-time list of men’s and women’s winners of the Boston Marathon.

Boston Marathon: All-time winners


Year Winner Country Time
1897 John J. McDermott United States 2:55:10
1898 Ronald J. MacDonald Canada 2:42:00
1899 Lawrence Brignolia United States 2:54:38
1900 John Caffery Canada 2:39:44
1901 John Caffery Canada 2:29:23
1902 Sammy Mellor United States 2:43:12
1903 John Lorden United States 2:41:29
1904 Michael Spring United States 2:38:04
1905 Frederick Lorz United States 2:38:25
1906 Tim Ford United States 2:45:45
1907 Thomas Longboat Canada 2:24:24
1908 Thomas Morrissey United States 2:25:43
1909 Henri Renaud United States 2:53:36
1910 Fred Cameron Canada 2:28:52
1911 Clarence DeMar United States 2:21:39
1912 Michael J. Ryan United States 2:21:18
1913 Fritz Carlson United States 2:25:14
1914 James Duffy Canada 2:25:14
1915 Edouard Fabre Canada 2:31:41
1916 Arthur Roth United States 2:27:16
1917 Bill Kennedy United States 2:28:37
1918 Camp Devens relay team United States 2:29:53
1919 Carl Linder United States 2:29:13
1920 Peter Trivoulides Greece 2:29:31
1921 Frank Zuna United States 2:18:57
1922 Clarence DeMar United States 2:18:10
1923 Clarence DeMar United States 2:23:47
1924 Clarence DeMar United States 2:29:40
1925 Charles Mellor United States 2:33:00
1926 Johnny Miles Canada 2:25:40
1927 Clarence DeMar United States 2:40:22
1928 Clarence DeMar United States 2:37:07
1929 Johnny Miles Canada 2:33:08
1930 Clarence DeMar United States 2:34:48
1931 James Henigan United States 2:46:45
1932 Paul de Bruyn Germany 2:33:36
1933 Leslie S. Pawson United States 2:31:01
1934 Dave Komonen Canada 2:32:53
1935 John A. Kelley United States 2:32:07
1936 Ellison Brown United States 2:33:40
1937 Walter Young Canada 2:33:20
1938 Leslie S. Pawson United States 2:35:34
1939 Ellison Brown United States 2:28:51
1940 Gerard Cote Canada 2:28:28
1941 Leslie S. Pawson United States 2:30:38
1942 Joe Smith United States 2:26:51
1943 Gerard Cote Canada 2:28:25
1944 Gerard Cote Canada 2:31:50
1945 John A. Kelley United States 2:30:40
1946 Stylianos Kyriakides Greece 2:29:27
1947 Suh Yun-bok South Korea 2:25:39
1948 Gerard Cote Canada 2:31:02
1949 Gosta Leandersson Sweden 2:31:50
1950 Ham Kee-Yong South Korea 2:32:39
1951 Shigeki Tanaka Japan 2:27:45
1952 Doroteo Flores Guatemala 2:31:53
1953 Keizo Yamada Japan 2:18:51
1954 Veikko Karvonen Finland 2:20:39
1955 Hideo Hamamura Japan 2:18:22
1956 Antti Viskari Finland 2:14:14
1957 John J. Kelley United States 2:20:05
1958 Franjo Mihalic Yugoslavia 2:25:54
1959 Eino Oksanen Finland 2:22:42
1960 Paavo Kotila Finland 2:20:54
1961 Eino Oksanen Finland 2:23:39
1962 Eino Oksanen Finland 2:23:48
1963 Aurele Vandendriessche Belgium 2:18:58
1964 Aurele Vandendriessche Belgium 2:19:59
1965 Morio Shigematsu Japan 2:16:33
1966 Kenji Kimihara Japan 2:17:11
1967 Dave McKenzie New Zealand 2:15:45
1968 Amby Burfoot United States 2:22:17
1969 Yoshiaki Unetani Japan 2:13:49
1970 Ron Hill United Kingdom 2:10:30
1971 Alvaro Mejia Colombia 2:18:45
1972 Olavi Suomalainen Finland 2:15:39
1973 Jon Anderson United States 2:16:03
1974 Neil Cusack Ireland 2:13:39
1975 Bill Rodgers United States 2:09:55
1976 Jack Fultz United States 2:20:19
1977 Jerome Drayton Canada 2:14:46
1978 Bill Rodgers United States 2:10:13
1979 Bill Rodgers United States 2:09:27
1980 Bill Rodgers United States 2:12:11
1981 Toshihiko Seko Japan 2:09:26
1982 Alberto Salazar United States 2:08:52
1983 Greg Meyer United States 2:09:00
1984 Geoff Smith United Kingdom 2:10:34
1985 Geoff Smith United Kingdom 2:14:05
1986 Robert de Castella Australia 2:07:51
1987 Toshihiko Seko Japan 2:11:50
1988 Ibrahim Hussein Kenya 2:08:43
1989 Abebe Mekonnen Ethiopia 2:09:06
1990 Gelindo Bordin Italy 2:08:19
1991 Ibrahim Hussein Kenya 2:11:06
1992 Ibrahim Hussein Kenya 2:08:14
1993 Cosmas Ndeti Kenya 2:09:33
1994 Cosmas Ndeti Kenya 2:07:15
1995 Cosmas Ndeti Kenya 2:09:22
1996 Moses Tanui Kenya 2:09:15
1997 Lameck Aguta Kenya 2:10:34
1998 Moses Tanui Kenya 2:07:34
1999 Joseph Chebet Kenya 2:09:52
2000 Elijah Lagat Kenya 2:09:47
2001 Lee Bong-Ju South Korea 2:09:43
2002 Rodgers Rop Kenya 2:09:02
2003 Robert Kipkoech Cheruiyot Kenya 2:10:11
2004 Timothy Cherigat Kenya 2:10:37
2005 Hailu Negussie Ethiopia 2:11:44
2006 Robert Kipkoech Cheruiyot Kenya 2:07:14
2007 Robert Kipkoech Cheruiyot Kenya 2:14:13
2008 Robert Kipkoech Cheruiyot Kenya 2:07:45
2009 Deriba Merga Ethiopia 2:08:42
2010 Robert Kiprono Cheruiyot Kenya 2:05:52
2011 Geoffrey Mutai Kenya 2:03:02
2012 Wesley Korir Kenya 2:12:40
2013 Lelisa Desisa Benti Ethiopia 2:10:22
2014 Meb Keflezighi United States 2:08:37
2015 Lelisa Desisa Benti Ethiopia 2:09:17
2016 Lemi Berhanu Hayle Ethiopia 2:12:45
2017 Geoffrey Kirui Kenya 2:09:37
2018 Yuki Kawauchi Japan 2:15:58


Year Winner Country Time
1966 Bobbi Gibb United States 3:21:40
1967 Bobbi Gibb United States 3:27:17
1968 Bobbi Gibb United States 3:30:00
1969 Sara Mae Berman United States 3:22:46
1970 Sara Mae Berman United States 3:05:07
1971 Sara Mae Berman United States 3:08:30
1972 Nina Kuscsik United States 3:10:26
1973 Jacqueline Hansen United States 3:05:59
1974 Miki Gorman United States 2:47:11
1975 Liane Winter West Germany 2:42:24
1976 Kim Merritt United States 2:47:10
1977 Miki Gorman United States 2:48:33
1978 Gayle Barron United States 2:44:52
1979 Joan Benoit United States 2:35:15
1980 Rosie Ruiz* Cuba 2:31:56
1980 Jacqueline Gareau Canada 2:34:28
1981 Allison Roe New Zealand 2:26:46
1982 Charlotte Teske West Germany 2:29:33
1983 Joan Benoit United States 2:22:43
1984 Lorraine Moller New Zealand 2:29:28
1985 Lisa Larsen Weidenbach United States 2:34:06
1986 Ingrid Kristiansen Norway 2:24:55
1987 Rosa Mota Portugal 2:25:21
1988 Rosa Mota Portugal 2:24:30
1989 Ingrid Kristiansen Norway 2:24:33
1990 Rosa Mota Portugal 2:25:24
1991 Wanda Panfil Poland 2:24:18
1992 Olga Markova Russia 2:23:43
1993 Olga Markova Russia 2:25:27
1994 Uta Pippig Germany 2:21:45
1995 Uta Pippig Germany 2:25:11
1996 Uta Pippig Germany 2:27:12
1997 Fatuma Roba Ethiopia 2:26:23
1998 Fatuma Roba Ethiopia 2:23:21
1999 Fatuma Roba Ethiopia 2:23:25
2000 Catherine Ndereba Kenya 2:26:11
2001 Catherine Ndereba Kenya 2:23:53
2002 Margaret Okayo Kenya 2:20:43
2003 Svetlana Zakharova Russia 2:25:19
2004 Catherine Ndereba Kenya 2:24:27
2005 Catherine Ndereba Kenya 2:25:12
2006 Rita Jeptoo Kenya 2:23:38
2007 Lidiya Grigoryeva Russia 2:29:18
2008 Dire Tune Ethiopia 2:25:25
2009 Salina Kosgei Kenya 2:32:16
2010 Teyba Erkesso Ethiopia 2:26:11
2011 Caroline Kilel Kenya 2:22:36
2012 Sharon Cherop Kenya 2:31:50
2013 Rita Jeptoo Kenya 2:26:25
2014 Rita Jeptoo* Kenya 2:18:57
2014 Bizunesh Deba Ethiopia 2:19:59
2015 Caroline Rotich Kenya 2:24:55
2016 Atsede Baysa Ethiopia 2:29:19
2017 Edna Kiplagat Kenya 2:21:52
2018 Desiree Linden United States 2:39:54

(*) denotes disqualification


Joyciline Jepkosgei to face Peres Jepchirchir at Boston Marathon

Tokyo Olympic Marathon champion, Peres Jepchirchir will lead a power-packed women’s elite fiend for the 26th edition of the Boston Marathon title that will be held on Monday April 18, 2022.

Jepchirchir, who won both the Olympic and New York City Marathons last year is the fastest women in the field that was announced by the race organisers.

“We are delighted to welcome the fastest and most accomplished women’s field in the history of the Boston Marathon,” said Boston Athletic Association president and CEO Tom Grilk through a statement. “Though there have been many milestones in the five decades since the women’s division was established in Boston, this field of Olympic and Paralympic medalists, Boston champions, and global stars will make this a race to remember on Patriots’ Day.”

The adidas-sponsored athlete has a personal best of 2:17.16 that she set in Valencia in 2020

There’s something uniquely special about the Boston Marathon, and I absolutely can’t wait to line up in Hopkinton this April for the race!” Jepchirchir will face off with the London Marathon winner Joyciline Jepkosgei who holds a personal best of 2:17.43.

Seven women have broken the 2:20 barrier with a dozen running under 2:23 mark, including reigning, the 2021 London runner-up Degitu Azimeraw of Ethiopia who holds a personal best of 2:17.58 and 2021 Olympic fourth-placed Roza Dereje of Ethiopia of pb 2:18.30.

In addition to Molly Seidel, the Tokyo Olympics bronze medallist will lead other top Americans like Sara Hall of 2:20.32, Des Linden (2:22.38), and Kellyn Taylor (2:24.28).



  1. Peres Jepchirchir,           KEN, 2:17.16   (Valencia, 2020)
  2. Joyciline Jepkosgei,        KEN, 2:17.43   (London, 2021)
  3. Degitu Azimeraw,           ETH, 2:17.58   (London, 2021)
  4. Roza Dereje,                     ETH, 2:18.30   (Valencia, 2019)
  5. Zeineba Yimer,                ETH, 2:19.28   (Valencia, 2019)
  6. Edna Kiplagat                  KEN, 2:19.50   (London, 2012)
  7. Tigist Girma,                    ETH, 2:19.52   (Amsterdam, 2019)
  8. Maurine Chepkemoi,      KEN, 2:20.18   (Amsterdam, 2021)
  9. Sara Hall,                          USA, 2:20.32  (Chandler, 2020)
  10. Desiree Linden,               USA, 2:22.38 (Boston, 2011)
  11. Viola Cheptoo,                KEN, 2:22.44  (New York City, 2021)
  12. Purity Changwony,         KEN, 2:22.46   (Ampugnano, 2021)
  13. Charlotte Purdue,           GBR, 2:23.26   (London, 2021)
  14. Kellyn Taylor,                   USA, 2:24.28   (Duluth, 2018)
  15. Molly Seidel,                    USA, 2:24.42   (New York City, 2021)
  16. Malindi Elmore               CAN, 2:24.50  (Houston, 2020)
  17. Mary Ngugi,                     KEN, 2:25.20  (Boston, 2021)
  18. Monicah Ngige,               KEN, 2:25.32  (Boston, 2021)

Brother Colm recognised for coaching in Kenya

Brother Colm O’Connell says it is a “tremendous honour” to receive an award from the Irish government for his work coaching athletes in Kenya.

The Catholic brother is among 11 recipients of this year’s Presidential Distinguished Service Award, which recognise the contributions of the Irish diaspora.

He has spent over 40 years coaching middle- and long-distance runners in the east African country, nurturing world and Olympic champions and world record holders including double Olympic 800m champion David Rudisha.

“It’s incredible and unbelievable that I should be selected,” O’Connell told BBC Sport Africa.

“It is the highest honour a person can get, especially people from the diaspora.

“I often wonder sometimes how somebody who lives in a remote village in Kenya can be singled out. It’s a tremendous honour and very, very special.”

A Catholic missionary in Iten

Originally from County Cork, Brother Colm’s association with Kenya began in 1976 when he joined the staff of St Patrick’s High School in Iten.

The school for boys, which was was set up by Irish missionaries and built on a hillside overlooking the Rift Valley, went on to establish a world-class track and field record.

Brother Colm’s first Olympic success came in 1988 when Peter Rono, then aged 21, became the youngest-ever winner of the 1500m at the Seoul Games.

Matthew Birir and Brimin Kipruto, both winners of the Olympic 3,000m steeplechase title, also worked under O’Connell.

He also developed female talent such as two-time world marathon champion Edna Kiplagat and former world 800m champions Janeth Jepkosgei and Eunice Sum.

O’Connell with Rudisha in 2012 before the Olympics, where the Kenyan won gold with a world-record time

“The coaching of Kenyan athletes, and particularly in the area of youth – identifying young talent and nurturing it – has been very much part of my aim right from the beginning,” he said.

“I think that’s one area I really came very far in. The success at the top level came as a progression from the young people that I was coaching.

“Maybe one of the most satisfactory things was the development of the women athletes in my group. That is something that I’m very proud of.

“I would like to think that, as a person working in Kenya, I had an impact on young people’s lives through athletics – using it to add value to young people’s lives, to give them a future, hope and values.”

‘My biggest satisfaction is the lives I’ve impacted’

Brother Colm, now in his early 70s, has found a balance between keeping his Irish roots alive and embracing life in Kenya, he says.

“I’ve always felt part of my Irish community, and I think that has been a strength to me because there is strength in diversity,” he said.

“I’ve always felt very encouraged by the support I’ve been given by my family and community in Ireland. And of course, I had a very high level of integration into the Kenyan community.

“That has played a huge role in helping me to reach the level [I have], between being Irish and being Kenyan.”

He previously received a coaching achievement award from World Athletics in 2019 and also has a street named after him in Iten.

“I have been recognized locally, and I appreciate that,” he added.

“But I didn’t come to Iten to find an achievement. In a sense, my biggest satisfaction is the athletes themselves and the people’s lives I have impacted.”

Brother Colm will be presented with the award by Irish President Michael D. Higgins at a ceremony on 2 December.

Interview with Brother Colm O’Connell by BBC Sport Africa’s Lynne Wachira.

Diana Kipyogei runs away with Boston Marathon title

Kenya’s Diana Chemtai Kipyogei won her first major marathon as she ran away with the 25th edition of the Boston Marathon title that was held on Monday (11) in Boston.

The 27-year-old had only run two other marathons heading into Monday’s race, winning the 2020 Istanbul Marathon and placing third at the 2019 Ljubljani Marathon.

The race began at the 8 miles in, when Kipyogei surged ahead. Netsanet Gudeta of Ethiopia, a former world cross-country champion, went after her and caught her within a few miles but at 24 miles, after the two had run side by side, it was Kipyogei who again took the lead. The veteran Edna Kiplagat of Kenya, a pre-race favorite and a two-time world champion as well as a New York and Boston winner, soon caught Gudeta and gave chase to Kipyogei. She gained some time but could not close the whole gap.

Kipyogei kept her pace pace intact to lead 1-2-3 Kenyan podium finish as she cut the tape in 2:24.50 with Ednah forced to settle in second place in 2:25.09.

Mary Ngugi came closed the podium three first finishes when she crossed the line in 2:25.20 with Monicah Ngige also from Kenya finishing in fourth in 2:25.32.

United States Nell Rojas was the top American finisher, placing sixth with a time of 2:27.12.

Edna Kiplagat leads the elite field at Boston Marathon

The 2017 Boston marathon winner Edna Kiplagat from Kenya who is now based in United States will lead the women elite field at the 125th Boston Marathon that will be held from Hopkinton to Boston on Monday, October 11 in Boston.

This will be the first-ever fall edition of the Boston Marathon which will feature more than 140 elite athletes across all divisions including dozens of Americans, the Boston Athletic Association and John Hancock Financial jointly announced today.

The Organizers of the world’s oldest marathon, which could not be held as an in-person event in 2020 due to the pandemic and the local authorities, have permitted a field of 20,000 runners, and up to 70,000 more will run a virtual edition of the race. An $876,500 prize money purse will be on offer, the second largest in the history of the race.

Tom Grilk who is the B.A.A. president and CEO said, “In October, many of the world’s best athletes will look to etch their names in the history books by winning the Boston Marathon, We very much look forward to October’s competition, bringing together winners from more than one hundred global marathons. The B.A.A. is eager to continue the tradition of athletic excellence as we return to the roads leading to Boston.”

As usual the elite field in the open divisions is dominated by Africans. On the women’s side, eight international athletes have run sub-2:22 during their careers led by Ethiopia’s Yebrgual Melese (2:19:36), Mare Dibaba (2:19:52), Workenesh Edesa (2:20:24), Sutume Kebede (2:20:30), and Sutume Kebede (2:20:30). The top Kenyans are Kiplagat, the 2017 women’s race champion (2:19:50), and Helah Kiprop (2:21:27). Caroline Chepkoech, a former Kenyan who now runs for Kazakhstan, is making her debut.

The top American women are Jordan Hasay (2:20:57), Des Linden (2:22:38), and Molly Huddle (2:26:33). Hasay made her marathon debut at Boston in 2017, finishing third in 2:23:00. Linden has run Boston seven times and won the wet, cold and windy edition in 2018 (she was also second in 2011). Like Linden, Huddle ran Boston in 2018 and finished 13th. Ten of the 27 elite women who started that year dropped out.

The two defending champions, Kenya’s Lawrence Cherono and Ethiopia’s Worknesh Degefa, are not in this year’s elite field.

 International Women:

Yebrgual Melese   (ETH), 2:19:36

Edna Kiplagat        (KEN), 2:19:50

Mare Dibaba          (ETH), 2:19:52

Workenesh Edesa (ETH), 2:20:24

Sutume Kebede    (ETH),  2:20:30

Besu Sado             (ETH), 2:21:03

Helah Kiprop         (KEN), 2:21:27

Bedatu Hirpa         (ETH), 2:21:32

Atsede Baysa        (ETH), 2:22:03

Diana Chemtai      (KEN), 2:22:06

Biruktayit Eshetu   (ETH), 2:22:40

Tigist Abayechew  (ETH), 2:22:45

Purity Changwony (KEN), 2:22:46

Caroline Rotich          (KEN), 2:23:22

Mary Ngugi                (KEN), 2:27:36

Shiho Kaneshige       (JPN),  2:28:51

Netsanet Gudeta        (ETH), 2:29:15

Kellys Arias                (COL), 2:29:36

Tish Jones                 (GBR), 2:31:00

Brittany Moran        (CAN), 2:36:22

Marie-Ange Brumelot (FRA), 2:36:23

Caroline Chepkoech    (KAZ), Debut (1:05:07 Half)

Monicah Ngige             (KEN), Debut (1:07:29 Half)