Five times Kenyan Athletes people shocked the world

By Clinton Nyabuto: Monday, April 22nd 2019 at 23:56 GMT +3 | Athletics
Athletics enthusiasts during the World under 18 Championship at Kasarani Stadium, Nairobi in 2017. [File, Standard]

In the recent past, Kenya has produced talented sportsmen and women who have triumphed and smashed world records, especially in athletics.

Her supremacy in athletics is beyond the borders as Kenya is the source of great athletes who have had command on the tracks dominating in middle-distance and long-distance races.

Not only in athletics has that Kenya produced the finest contenders but also in other sports like rugby.

Here are the five instances that Kenyan sports people have shocked the world.

Iconic performances in the 2008 Summer Olympics

Kenyan athletes participated in the 2008 Summer Olympics held in Beijing, China from August 8 to August 24, to produce the best ever performance in the event.

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Kenya collected six gold medals and a total of 14 medals in the Chinese capital after fielding 46 athletes, 28 men and 18 women, making it Africa’s most successful nation in the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

The late Samuel Wanjiru celebrates as he nears the crossing line at the 2008 Summer Olympics [Photo, Courtesy]

Late Samuel Wanjiru smashed the earlier record in the men’s marathon to bag gold for Kenya as his compatriots Brimin Kipruto and Wilfred Bungei emerged winners in the men’s 3000 metres steeplechase 800 metres races respectively.

Veteran Asbel Kiprop proved his prowess in the men’s 1500 metres race as he made it first to the finish line to snatch gold for Kenya.

In the women races, Kenyans did not disappoint as Pamela Jelimo and Nancy Lagat bagged gold for Kenya in the women’s 800 metres and 1500 metres races respectively.

2014 Commonwealth Games and 2015 World Championships

Kenya’s Julius Yego made headlines in the 2014 Commonwealth Games held in Glasgow, Scotland as he became the first Kenyan field athlete to win a gold medal at the Commonwealth Games.

Yego won the men’s javelin throw gold medal in Glasgow with a throw of 83.87 metres.

In the following year, he snatched Kenya’s first World Championship gold in the field at the 2015 World Athletics Championships in Beijing, China painting a new record of 95.72 metres.

Julius Yego celebrates after winning the men's javelin at the IAAF World Championships, Beijing 2015 [Photo, Courtesy]

IAAF World Cross Country Championships dominance

Kenya’s John Ngugi became the first man to win the world championship five times (1986-1989, 1992) while his countryman veteran cross country runner Paul Tergat became the first man to win the competition five times in a row (1995-1999).

In the women category, Kenya’s Edith Masai won the four-kilometre women’s short race for three consecutive times (2003-2004).

Kenyan runners have dominated the World Cross Country Championships with the men’s team winning 24 world championships (1986-2011) including 18 in a row.

Olympic champion handed a four-year doping ban

On April 20, 2019, Beijing Olympics gold medalist Asbel Kiprop was slapped with a four-year ban by the IAAF Disciplinary Tribunal.

The ban came as a shocker as the 1500 metres world champion had been under suspension since May last year after he tested positive for Erythropoietin (EPO), a blood-boosting substance.

However, Kiprop had argued that his urine sample may have been tampered with by his testers.

Berlin Marathon – World record

Kenya’s Eliud Kipchoge smashed the marathon world record after clocking 02:01:39 in the 2018 Berlin Marathon in Berlin, Germany.

Eliud Kipchoge crushes Marathon World Record at Berlin [Photo, Courtesy]

The 2016 Olympic champion shook off nearly one minute and 20 seconds of the previous record set by his countryman Dennis Kimetto when he clocked 02:02:57 in 2014 in Berlin.

The win came just a few months after Kipchoge had won the 2018 London Marathon on April 22 when he clocked 02:04:17.

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