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1972 Olympic silver medallist Jipcho undergoes operation in Nairobi

ATHLETICS By Dennis Okeyo | September 26th 2019
Former three-time World Record holder of 3,000 meters steeplechase Ben Chemaimok at Meditest Medical Centre, Sclater's House, Parklands Nairobi [Jonah Onyango, Standard] .

Ailing 1972 Olympic steeplechase silver medallist Ben Jipcho underwent an operation in a Nairobi hospital yesterday.

Jipcho, 76 won double gold in 5000m and 3,000m steeplechase at the 1973 All Africa Games in Abuja.

He also won double gold over the distances plus a bronze medal in 1500m at the 1974 Commonwealth Games in Christchurch, New Zealand. He has battled cancer since 2017.

His son, Moses Jipcho who has been taking care of him told the Standard Sports yesterday that his father was to undergo surgery to correct urine passage before starting cancer treatment.

The surgery is to improve the flow of urine through the urethra, the tube that carries urine from the bladder out of the body.

“It has been difficult for family. Mzee started ailing in 2017 by now we have exhausted all the avenue of getting funds.

“He is currently at Medi Test Hospital in Nairobi’s Parklands and he has been booked for an operation to correct urine passage before he can start prostate cancer treatment. Right now we need Sh300,000 for this operation,” Moses said.

Last month, the senior Jipcho was again hospitalised and National Heroes Council was instrumental in taking care of his medical needs.

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The National Heroes Council is charged with the responsibility of formulating policy relating to national heroes and, according to Section 4 (c) of the Act, to “administer State assistance to national heroes where necessary.”

Sports PS Kirimi Kaberia said: “There is a procedure to be followed before funds can be available. But meanwhile, I’m sending my personal contributions to his son because Jipcho is well known to me having run with my own father during their heydays.”

Jipcho is well known for his role in Kipchoge Keino’s victory over Jim Ryun of America at the 1968 Olympic Games in Mexico City than for his own athletics prowess.

Sacrificing his own chances for a medal to team tactics, he pulled Keino through a 56-second first 400m, before being passed by his teammate with 800m to go and drifting back into the pack.

By that point, Keino had established a lead of 20m or more, which Ryun’s famous finishing speed could not erase.

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