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Former champion Konchellah passes on

By | Published Wed, December 2nd 2009 at 00:00, Updated Wed, December 2nd 2009 at 00:00 GMT +3

By Mutwiri Mutuota

Former Commonwealth Games 800m champion, Patrick Konchellah, has passed on. The retired athlete, who also finished fourth at the 1997 World Championships in Athens, died on Sunday morning after a protracted battle with illness.

Speaking to FeverPitch, his elder brother and twice world champion, Billy Konchellah said:

"In the past one and half months, he had been in and out of hospital and his condition deteriorated last Friday. He was rushed to Tenwek Mission Hospital in Bomet where he succumbed after spending Saturday night in agony."

The elder Konchellah disclosed his burial is set for the weekend in their rural home of Transmara with a fundraiser tomorrow at a yet-to-be disclosed venue in Nairobi.

"The guy was a great athlete and ran faster than I did (1:42.38 personal best/800m) and the country has lost one of its most gifted runners," the 1987 and 1991 world champion over the two-lap race eulogised.

Junior championships

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Patrick’s son Felix Martine Konchellah was selected to represent Kenya at the World Junior Championships in Bydgoszcz, Poland, last year continuing a family tradition in 800m.

In 2000, the late runner won the National Trials for the Sydney Olympics but ailment ruled him out of the competition.

On learning of Konchellah’s death, Athletics Kenya Secretary General, David Okeyo, sent his condolence to the family and friends of the late athlete.

"On behalf on AK, myself and the entire athletics fraternity, I wish to send condolences to the family of Patrick Konchellah, who have contributed immensely to the sport," said Okeyo. Others who condoled with the Konchellahs are AK Public Relations Officer, Peter Angwenyi, retired athletes, Moses Kiptanui and Kennedy Ochieng and AK South Rift Valley branch, John Wachira.

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