Tag Archives: Paul Tergat

Pamela Jelimo receives her Olympic medal after waiting for 10 years

The first Kenyan woman to win an Olympic gold medal in the 800m women race, Pamela Jelimo, yesterday received her bronze medal that was presented to her at the historic pillars of the Kenyan heritage building.

The 2008 Africa 800m and 2012 World Indoor 800m champion, who finished fourth in 1:57.59 was emotional as she received her award,

The ceremony which was graced by Cabinet Secretary for Youth Affairs, Sports and Arts Ababu Namwamba, NOC_K president, Dr. Paul Tergat and International Olympic Committee (IOC) member Kipchoge Keino, IOC Olympic Solidarity Pamela Vipond and Gonzalo Barrio who are currently in the country to hold consultative meetings with NOC-K.

Three athletes so far have received an upgrade of their performance in the 2012 London Games, a result of winner Mariya Savinova from Russia, who was stripped of the gold medal for doping.

“My children can now watch me receive the bronze medal, 10 years later. This is like a dream; I initially didn’t believe it when I heard the good news. It’s truly a dream of every athlete to win a medal in the Olympics and I’m honored to have my parents accompany me and share this joy.” She said.

Following this, South Africa’s Caster Semenya and another Russian Ekaterina Poistogova, who had settled for silver and bronze moved to Gold and silver respectively.

This resulted in “Eldoret express”, World Champion in the race, Janeth Jepkosgei moving into 8th position and receiving an IOC Diploma certificate.

The third athlete to receive a certificate is 5,000 Olympic Silver medalist Hellen Obiri who scooped 8th position in the London Olympics.

“I remember 2012, since it was my first Olympics, my expectations were high honestly, however I didn’t sniff the medal bracket. So humbled to receive the upgrade and this is a motivation to fellow athletes to run clean.” She said.

On receiving this, the New York Marathon debutant told the NOC-K she’s liking her new career in Marathon and exclusively reported she will indeed be going for the Paris 2024 Marathon to ensure an Olympic Gold medal (the only medal she’s missing) is in her cabinet.

“Inspire a Generation.’’ Was the motto for the 2012 London Olympic Games, and indeed the first Kenyan woman to win an Olympic gold medal in the 800m women race, Pamela Jelimo, has proven the theme as she received her bronze medal in her home country surrounded by the Olympic family under the historic pillars of the Kenyan heritage building.

 

Paul Tergat and Daniel Komen Inducted into the Hall Of Fame

Two times Olympic silver medallist and five times World Cross country Champion, Paul Tergat was last night inducted into the Van Damme Memorial Hall of Fame for his outstanding performances in the Belgium when he was still in his career.

Tergat who is the president of the National Olympic Committee of Kenya (NOC-K) took part in the Memorial race seven times and won three times. In 1997, the Kenyan set a new world record in the 10,000 meters in the King Baudouin Stadium. He also triumphed over the distance in 1998 and 200 in Brussels.

The 53 year-old became the first Kenyan man to set the world record in the marathon in 2003, with a time of 2:04.55, who is still regarded as one of the most accomplished long-distance runners of all time.

The two times world silver medallist was inducted together with one of the finest 3000m runner the world has ever produced Daniel Komen, as he still holds the world record for the 3000m both outdoors (7:20.67 set in 1996) and indoors (7:24.90 set in 1998)

The 46 year-old who is a former world 5000m champion, participated in the Memorial races  eleven times and took the honors four times at the Heysel, where he set the world record in 5000m and  the same year that he also became world champion over distance. He is also only man in history to run back-to-back sub-four-minute miles, splitting circa 3:59.4 on both the first and second half of the race.

The 1997 5000m World Records have long since been crashed by Joshua Chepetegei from Uganda.

NOC-K: We Did Not Mismanage Tokyo Funds

The National Olympics Committee of Kenya (NOC-K) has defended themselves from any corruption and mismanagement of funds at the concluded Tokyo Olympic Games held in Tokyo, Japan.

There was public outcry that there was funds mismanagement and top officials summoned to parliament to explain how the taxpayers money was used, NOC-K president Paul Tergat said that they have not misused any funds meant for athletes in Tokyo and their books are in order.

“We are clean and we have nothing to hide. Whatever you are seeing on social media buzz it will come to pass. For us, we are the most dependable team that Kenya has ever had,” said Tergat during the award ceremony of the Tokyo Olympians in Eldoret.

He added that since they were athletes and understood the welfare of athletes, they could not indulge in corruption deals that could sabotage athletes’ efforts in enjoying their sweat as well as killing their integrity.

“Majority of us who are leading this team are former athletes and we understand what it takes to be one. We cannot engage in funds mismanagement yet we were there during those days. We care much about athletes and that is why integrity had to come first before anything else,” said Tergat.

Waithaka Kioni who was the Chef De Mission, defended his move to Tokyo by avoiding carrying cash but allowed the ministry to deposit the amount in banks.

“Before heading to Tokyo, I was told to carry money in cash but my integrity could not allow me to do that and decided that the money should be deposited in a bank account, not me. I went there very clean and returned clean too,” said Kioni.

He added that he did that to avoid the devil of Rio de Janeiro to follow a reputable team to Tokyo.

This comes after the 2016 Rio de janeiro Games Chef de Mission Stephen Soi was jailed for mismanagement of funds meant for athletes. He was judged alongside former Cabinet Secretary for Sports Hassan Wario.

World Record Holder Eliud Kipchoge Named Race Ambassador

World marathon champion Eliud Kipchoge has been appointed the brand ambassador the Isaiah Kiplagat Memorial Ndalat Gaa Cross Country Championship.

Kipchoge who hails from Nandi County was named as the ambassador because he hails from area and his exceptional performance in athletics.

The event’s Local Organising Committee (LOC) chairman Abraham ‘Solo” Mutai said Kipchoge’s mandate will be to market the event, nurture and mentor upcoming promising athletes taking part in the race.

Kipchoge is fresh from winning this year’s Berlin Marathon on September 24, where set a new world marathon record of 2:01.39 in the German capital.

At the Ndalaat Gaa cross country championships, is where budding athletes are nurtured and sanctified to conquer the world.

Joseph Ebuya started the season by winning the 2009 Ndalat Gaa meeting before going ahead to bag the world cross-country title in Bydgoszcz, Poland, in 2010.

Ebuya’s win brought the individual senior men’s 12km title back to Kenya for the first time since Paul Tergat won in Belfast 1999.

The 2011 London Marathon winner Prisca Jeptoo won in 2012 after claiming silver medals at Daegu worlds while Vivian Cheruiyot went ahead to strike two gold medals in 2011 and crowned the world cross-country title.

Olympic, world and Commonwealth games 3000m steeplechase champion Conseslus Kipruto is another one among the many athletes who have developed and horned their talent in this annual run.

Patrick Makau: Eliud Kipchoge’s marathon mark will last long

Retired marathoner Patrick Makau says it will take a long time and special talent to challenge Eliud Kipchoge’s world record mark.

Kipchoge attained in blistering pace clinching the Berlin Marathon title in 2:01.39. His previous best of 2:03.05 had been attained in 2016 in winning the London marathon.

He made two attempts on the world record of compatriot Dennis Kimetto in 2015 and 2017, but missed out owing to poor weather.

However, that wait was worth as he shaved off one minute and 18 seconds off the world mark to write his name in the history book as the first man to run under two hours and two minutes.

“I watched the race for sure he made it look so easy unlike those before him who broke the record on the same course,” said Makau, who reclaimed the world mark from Haile Gebreselassie with a time of 2:03.38 back in 2013.

“Kipchoge has put it too far. Anyone targeting that mark will know it will be a hard shot. It will take years before someone does it. I am happy for him because he has been persistent since 2012,” added Makau.

Makau, 33, who has been forced to retire because of a tendon and knee injuries saw his mark broken by Wilson Kipsang in 2013 clocking an impressive 2:03.23, but again that went even further down with Kimetto arriving on the scene a year later to take the record to 2:02.57.

In all cases, the elite runners were breaking off seconds off the main mark, but for Kipchoge to slash off 78 seconds, it shows his position as the greatest ever to grace the race.

Kenya’s Paul Tergat was the last man to take such a huge step when he broke Khalid Khannouchi’s 2:05.38 record in Berlin in 2003 with a time of to 2:04:26.

It was also the largest single improvement on the marathon world record since Derek Clayton improved the mark by 2:23 in 1967.

Meanwhile, celebrations continued in Kenya for the iconic performance with calls for the Kenyan government to honor and reward their star athlete.

Makau has run in over 20 marathons, finishing at least 11 of them ever since his debut in Rotterdam in 2008.

Source: xinhuanet.com

Wilson Kipsang targeting world record

Wilson Kipsang will be in Berlin once again this Sunday as he seeks to reclaim the world record he held after running 2:03.23 in 2013, bettering the time previously set by Kenyan compatriot Patrick Makau by five seconds.

At the same time the 36-year-old Kipsang, who is based in Iten, Kenya, will be renewing his rivalry with Eliud Kipchoge once more. Their most recent meeting took place on the same course a year ago where Kipchoge emerged the winner of the race in 2:03:32 while Kipsang dropped out at the 30-kilometre mark due to a stomach problem.

Fully aware of the opposition that awaits him in reigning Olympic Champion Kipchoge, Kipsang is diplomatic about his chances of winning a second Berlin Marathon title.

“I am feeling very good. Training is going well and I’m looking forward to run good again in Berlin,” Kipsang says in an exclusive interview with KweséESPN. “For sure with Eliud in the field it will be a difficult race. But I will be ready.”

With the 2017 edition of the race affected by rain and humidity which derailed most of the contenders from their quest on the streets of Germany’s capital, this time around the weather conditions are predicted to be sunny with intervals of clouds and sunshine.

Those conditions should favour the elite men, which apart from Kipsang and Kipchoge includes fellow Kenyans Eliud Kiptanui and Amos Kipruto as well as Ethiopia’s Abera Kuma. Kipsang confirmed that these factors have to align with each other especially on a fast course like Berlin: “If you go to Berlin, you want to go fast.”

“So the world record is on my mind. But let us wait and see how the weather will be and how the race will unfold,” he added

The towering marathoner, comes into the event on the backdrop of winning Tokushima Marathon in March this year, a month after he was forced to abandon Tokyo Marathon 15 kilometres in due to illness.

Kipsang also believes that last year’s New York City Marathon, which saw two-time world half-marathon champion Geoffrey Kamworor beat him in a sprint finish, shows that he still has the requisite pace to threaten the record books.

“This year in Tokyo I was sick, things like that can happen. Last year after Berlin, New York Marathon was happy to give me a second chance and I was happy to take second position there.”

As he approaches his sunset years in the sport, he was coy about his future after Berlin.

“I do not know yet what is next after this race. After Berlin, we, together with management, will make plans for the rest of this year and early 2019,” he concluded

Kipsang has won four World Marathon Majors titles, London (2012 and 2014), Berlin (2013), New York City (2014) and Tokyo (2017).

He also boasts of being the only man to run sub 2:04 four times and apart from him, three other Kenyans in Paul Tergat (2003), Patrick Makau (2011) and Dennis Kimetto (2014) have broken the world record on the Berlin Marathon course.

As such, Sunday’s race will provide the Kenyan with another chance to join Haile Gebrselassie in the exclusive club of shattering the barrier twice… and it doesn’t come more iconic than with the Brandenburg Gate looming in the background.

Source: kwese.espn.com

Former World Half Marathon Champion Passes On

The 1998 world half marathon champion Paul Koech died on Tuesday (September 4, 2018) after a short illness.

Koech who was the Athletics Kenya (AK)) Kenya Defence Forces (KDF) branch vice chairman passed on at the Forces Memorial Hospital in Nairobi where he was rushed after becoming ill.

According to sources, Koech fell ill and was admitted at the facility after complaining of a severe headache.

Koech’s death comes less than a month after the death of the 2015 World 400m hurdles champion Nicholas Bett who died in a tragic road accident.

Koech who rose to the rank of a Major in the Kenyan army was born in 1969 in the Burnt Forest area of Rift Valley province.

He represented Kenya at the World Cross Country Championships on six occasions between 1996 and 2003, finishing in the top six individually and taking a team gold medal on each occasion.

Koech also represented Kenya on the track internationally where missed a medal by whisker by settling for a fourth place finish  in the 10,000m at the 1997 World Championships in Athens where his niece, Sally Barsosio, struck gold in the women’s event.

He pushed five times World Cross Country champion Paul Tergat to break the 10,000m world record in 26:27.85 in Brussels, Belgium and made Koech the third-fastest man in history at that time.

Now, 21 years on from that race’s time that he posted of 26:36.26, Koech sits at number seven on the world all-time list.

In 1998, he took the individual silver medal behind Tergat and team gold at the IAAF World Cross Country Championships in Marrakech, Morocco, gold at the IAAF World Half Marathon Championships in Uster, Switzerland and gold at the now defunct IAAF World Road Relay Championships in Manaus, Brazil.

In a statement, Athletics Kenya said: “Athletics Kenya with sorrow, regret to announce the sudden demise of Major Paul Koech, a co-opted member in Athletics Kenya Executive Committee.”

The statement further read: Major Paul was a great track, cross country and road racing athlete of all times. A dedicated team player in Kenya’s national team and World Cross Country squad.

WHO IS PROTECTING DR. GABRIELE ROSA?

Another soldier down is a common phrase among soldiers in combat use when one of them falls in battle.

This phrase aptly captures the recent doping cases involving Lucy Kabuu. Their case have one common denominator, they both hail from the Rosa and Associati camp.

One year ago we covered Dr. Gabriele Rosa in an expose detailing how his camp had over the years produced champions as well as the highest number of athletes found to have used enhancing drugs. The recent cases of Kabuu who joined Rosa’s camp in January tested positive for narcotic morphine in April. Until then, Kabuu had been an athlete competing honestly for over 15 years without any involvement with banned substances. It is not wrong to assume that her positive test can be linked to her joining the camp.

Hon. Wesley Korir former Boston Marathon champion had this to say about the latest doping scandal involving Lucy Kabuu from the Rosa camp, “I will be vindicated one day when I say that the biggest problem in Kenya doping menace is Rosa and associates and the only way to truly fight doping in Kenyans is to ban this agency from representing Kenyans. Ask when did Kabuu join this agency and immediately she is doping?

So the question to be answered is who is protecting Dr. Rosa? Why is this camp so important to Kenya despite the negative image it has painted of Kenya, a country that has been known as an athletics powerhouse but now every win is being questioned by the world?

Some of the high level names include Rita Jeptoo, Jemima Sumgong, Mathew Kisorio and Agatha Jeruto. The most recent high level athlete has been Asbel Kiprop. The coach under who these names were found to test positive for banned substances was Claudio Beraddelli.

In 2015 Athletics Kenya banned Rosa Associati and Volare Sports for six months as they investigated their roles in doping cases but were later lifted under unclear circumstances by AK.

Many questions arises about this man Dr. Rosa, how powerful is he that he manages to get his way through this doping issues? Has Athletics Kenya shielded the alleged peddlers of doping in Kenya, Rossa Associati, for a long time? Does Dr. Rosa fund Athletics Kenya? Does he have insiders at the IAAF that shield him and his athletes?

According to his website (www.rosassociati.it) the stable has 69 and 35 top notch athletes from around the world. The stable has names like Nijel Amos, Asbel Kiprop, Lonyangata Paul,Stanley Biwott,Lilesa Feyisa Gemeche,Belay Tigist Gashaw,Getent Tigest Mekonen,Yalew Genet and Jemima Sumgong just to name the few.

He has one of the biggest athletes stable in the world with the biggest names in athletics world from the likes of former world record holder and Kenya’s legend Paul Tergat to the current crop of emerging runners the likes of Tuei Sandrafelis Chebet a junior champion.

Tergat to Face off Keino in Plascom Run

The National Olympic Committee of Kenya (NOCK) President Paul Tergat will face former athletics pacemaker Martin Keino in the Plascon Colour Run 5km run on August 11 at Nairobi’s Uhuru Gardens.

Tergat a former World marathon record holder and Martin the 1994 NCAA cross country and 1995 NCAA 5000-meter champion at the University of Arizona, son of double Olympic gold medalist Kipchoge Keino have confirmed their participation in the event meant for a charitable course.

The run which is targeting 5000 participants will see the top five runners being offered to select a project of their choice in the informal settlements of having 20 roofs of buildings each given a new coat of paint courtesy of the title sponsors paint makers Kansai Plascon.

The Kenya Colour Run Event Director Felix Mwaura said they are using sports to initiate the project through fundraising to raise funds to cater for needy and bright students from poor backgrounds to access education.

Jeetan Makan and Mihira Patel of Kansai Plascon Kenya and Felix
Mwaura of Kenya Colour Run at the launch of the 2018 Plascon Colour Run.

The participation fee is Sh1000 for adults and Sh500 for children with corporates who have a special entry package urged to get involved and promote the initiative as part of their Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) programmes.

According to the organisers, tickets are available by simply dialling *229*38# or online at www.mtickets.com

Plascon has injected Sh3 million in the Kenya Colour Run which is a creative 5km run that involves participants of all abilities and ages being doused from head to toe with coloured powder while they sprint, jog or walk 5km route on a marked course.

The course route has five colour stations where the participants will be doused with paint and the winner will be determined by the intensity of being coloured.

The event originated from India as the “Holi Festival” and is today a global event that promotes health and wellness by bringing the community together to participate in the “Most Creative 5K Run.”

Event MC Oga Obinna and Plascon Kenya Marketing Manager, Mihira
Patel ready to colour your world at the 2018 Plascon Colour Run

The inaugural Kenya Colour Run event was in Nairobi in June 2017 aimed at promoting peace awareness in midst of campaigns and elections ahead of the country’s general elections last August.

South Africa was the first country to host Color Run in Africa, followed by Zimbabwe in 2013.

Kenya Colour Run is under Africa Colour Run that organize events in Botswana, Zimbabwe and Namibia.

The Kenya Colour Run is entirely focused on fun so there is no competitive atmosphere, no recorded times and no age restrictions, all that matters is that the participants enjoy themselves and finish covered in loads of colour.

 

Why Sam Chelanga Retired From Running at age 33

When Sam Chelanga was growing up in the village of Kabarsel, just north of the Great Rift Valley in Kenya, Paul Tergat would stop by the house as Chelanga tended to the animals on his family’s farm.

In a country known for its distance runners, Tergat is one of Kenya’s greatest ever — a two-time Olympic medalist, five-time world cross country champion, and former world record holder in the marathon. Tergat was a training partner of Chelanga’s brother, Joshua (a 2:07 marathoner), and treated Chelanga like a younger brother — he’d give him 1,000 shillings in pocket money, and in return Chelanga would ferry around the runners in Tergat’s group and drop off water on training runs in Tergat’s Toyota Land Cruiser.

“He would never let anyone [else] drive but he said, ‘Hey Sam, come drive my truck,’” Chelanga says.

Sometimes Tergat would ask Chelanga what he wanted to become when he grew up. Chelanga’s answer was always the same: a lawyer. Chelanga’s home village was poor and lacked reliable access to safe drinking water and hospitals. Chelanga hoped that a law degree would help him to deliver social justice.

Sam Chelanga with wife Marybeth and son Micah after earning his U.S. citizenship in 2015 (Courtesy Sam Chelanga)

But a law degree requires going to college, and college costs money. Tergat told Chelanga that there was another route to college: running. Reluctantly, Chelanga took up the sport, setting in motion a 13-year journey that included a decorated collegiate career at Liberty University and professional stops in Eugene, Ore., Hanover, N.H., Tucson, Ariz., and Colorado Springs, Colo.

On Thursday, one day after finishing 4th at the USATF 10k Championships at the Peachtree Road Race in Atlanta, Chelanga, 33, announced that he has retired from professional running in order to enlist in the U.S. Army. On July 29, he will report to Fort Jackson in South Carolina for basic training; once he completes that, it’s off to Officer Candidate School in Fort Benning, Georgia, beginning October 15. Chelanga would like to specialize in military intelligence.

Even though Chelanga says he grew to love running, he was never motivated by medals or glory. As he went on to win four NCAA titles at Liberty and five U.S. titles on the roads as a pro (he became a naturalized U.S. citizen in 2015), many things drove him: a college degree, helping his family and home village back in Kenya, representing the United States, supporting his wife, Marybeth, and their two sons, five-year-old Micah and one-year-old Noah. But he wasn’t the guy who went to bed every night dreaming about Olympic gold. When he and Marybeth started dating, Chelanga never spoke about running. When I ask him what his proudest accomplishment in running was, he tells me that it wasn’t a race, but instead the moment when he realized he was actually going to graduate with a college degree “because that is why I started running.”

Chelanga’s retirement announcement prompts several questions. The most obvious: why now? Chelanga, who has trained with Scott Simmons‘ American Distance Project in Colorado Springs since 2016, was the top American finisher at last year’s World Cross Country Championships, finishing in 11th place. This year, Chelanga ran a half marathon personal best of 60:37 in Houston in January, finished 14th at the World Half Marathon Championships in March (again, he was the top U.S. finisher), and won the U.S. 25K title in May. He has plenty left in the tank.

Which is precisely why Chelanga felt it was important to join the Army now.

“I’ve done everything that I wanted to do in running,” says Chelanga, who achieved personal bests of 13:04 in the 5,000m and 27:08 (still the collegiate record, set in a very famous race where Chris Solinsky ran 26:59 and Galen Rupp 27:10) in the 10,000m. “I’ve got more than I asked for when I came in…I don’t want to wait until I’m old or something. I feel young, I feel fresh, I feel like I have a lot of energy and I want to take this job when I’m going to serve at the best level of my ability.”

There’s also this fact: Chelanga no longer has an endorsement contract, as his Nike deal expired at the end of 2017 (Nike did offer to renew it, but Chelanga turned them down).

Chelanga, who considered joining the Kenyan Air Force as a teenager, has always been inspired by men in uniform. He was also born with a desire to serve, and that desire was not being met as a professional runner.

“I left running because I wanted to do something [where] every morning, I wake up and feel fulfilled,” Chelanga says.

Chelanga’s path to the Army is untraditional, especially when contrasted with the journeys of his training mates in Colorado Springs. Several of them, such as Shadrack KipchirchirLeonard Korir, and Paul Chelimo, joined the Army as a way to acquire U.S. citizenship and continue their running careers representing the United States. Chelanga had to wait five years to become a naturalized U.S. citizen and decided to join the Army three years later.

Chelanga says that former Army WCAP coach Dan Browne did try to recruit him to join the Army while he was in college, but Chelanga says he was told by a recruiter that he could only enlist if he was a U.S. citizen or was in possession of a green card. That was not actually the case — the Military Accessions Vital to National Interest (MAVNI) program under which Chelimo and others gained their citizenship was established in 2009 — but regardless, Chelanga signed a contract with Nike when he exhausted his eligibility in 2011 rather than attempt to enlist in the military.

Chelanga has not forgotten his home village back in Kenya. During his professional career, Chelanga sent water filters back to Kabarsel so that every family had access to clean drinking water. Recently, he heard about the death of a neighbor, who passed away at the same hospital where Chelanga’s father died and hopes that one day he may be able to help upgrade it.

“I’ve always wanted to do something about that hospital,” Chelanga says. “It’s the only hospital in my district and it’s not even good.”

But Chelanga has other priorities, too. He’s a grown man, a family man, and believes he must do right by the country that has given him so much.

“I got into running with the mindset that I was going to help my community back in Kenya,” Chelanga says. “But now I have two kids, and those kids are going to grow up in the United States. This is their new community, this is my new community…Leading young men and women for the United States in the Army, it’s the biggest honor I would have ever asked. Not that I underestimate that what running has done or can do, but I just feel in my heart that this is a calling for me.”

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