Koech's burial set for next Tuesday

By Jonathan Komen: Sunday, September 9th 2018 at 00:00 GMT +3 | Athletics
Former IAAF World Half Marathon winner Paul Koech [Courtesy]

Paul Koech, the 1998 IAAF World Half Marathon winner, will be laid to rest on Tuesday.

The body will be removed from Forces Memorial Hospital Mortuary tomorrow and taken to his home in Silgich Village, Soy sub-county, Uasin Gishu County.

Koech, who was a Major at the Kenya Defence Forces, died at the Forces Memorial Hospital last Tuesday after short illness.

He competed in cross country, track and road running. Koech won 10,000m bronze at the All Africa Games in Harare, Zimbabwe, in 1995 before claiming 5,000m African title in Yaounde, Cameroon, in 1996. He then finished sixth in10,000m at the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta and fourth in the same event at the 1997 World Championships in Athens, where his niece Sally Barsosio, then a Form Four Student at Sing'ore Girls in Elgeyo Marakwet, won 10,000m gold medal.

In the 1997 season, he set personal best of 12:56.29 in 5000m in the race where Ethiopia's Haile Gebrselassie ran the then world record of 12:41.86 and 26:36.36 for 10,000m finishing second to Paul Tergat’s then world record of 26:27.85.

In cross-country, Koech is a three-time national champion, having dominated the scene from 1997 to 1999. He represented Kenya six times at the World Championships, claiming six team golds and the individual silver in 1998. He was also fourth at the 1996 and 1997 world cross country meetings, fifth in 2003 and sixth again both in 1999 and 2000.

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In road races, Paul Koech claimed gold at the 1998 IAAF World Half-Marathon Championships in Uster (60:01). He would later run three marathons and finished second at the 2003 Chicago Marathon in 2:07:07.

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