Thursday, April 12, 2012

Dr. Kipchoge Arap Kieno (Kip)

Born on 17 January 1940 at Kipsamo in Nandi County, many regard him as the founding father of Kenyan athletics. The two-time Olympic gold medalist also adds 2 Olympic silver medals, 3 gold and 1 bronze medals in the Commonwealth games in his decorated sporting career. 

When you stand on the victory stand, you must be able to ask yourself: ‘Did I win this medal?’”
A quote from Keino
His first shot at international competition was the 1962 Commonwealth Games in Perth Australia were he finished 11th. The resilient Keino went along and competed in his first Olympic at the Tokyo Games where he came 10th and 5th in the 1500m and 5000m respectively.
On 27 August 1965, he smashed the 3000m world record by 6 seconds on his first attempt at the distance in Sweden. The same year he broke another world record, the 5000m in Auckland, New Zealand. 1966 marked the year he won the 1500m and came close third in 5000m race at the inaugural All Africa Games in Brazzaville. The same year he won both the mile and 3-mile race at the Commonwealth Games in Kingston, Jamaica. At the 1968 Summer Olympics in Mexico City he came back home with 1500m gold and 5000m silver medal.
Before leaving the tracks in 1973, he was at the 1972 Summer Olympics in Munich, Germany where he won the 3000m steeplechase gold and 1500m silver medal.
World records he held:
Men’s 3000m World Record Holder (27 August, 1965 – 14 September, 1972)
Men’s 5000m World Record Holder (1965)
The fast and first man:
First African to run a four-minute mile with 3:54.2, 0.1 short of the world record (Tokyo race, 1965).
The largest winning margin in 1500m history (The 20m margin defeat on World record holder Jim Ryun)
Keino is the first Kenyan sportsperson to be on the cover the internationally acclaimed magazine, “Sports Illustrated” (1987).
After his retirement from the athletics world, he returned home to give back where he set up the Kip Keino Primary School and KipKeino High school. Through his foundation, he proceeded to establish Kip Kieno High Altitude Training Centre, an academy for training upcoming athletes.
In 1996, he was inducted into the World Sports Humanitarian Hall of Fame and he’s currently the chairman of the National Olympic Committee Kenya (NOCK).

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