Day 12 of the Olympics in Rio Brazil ended with not only a gold medal for team Kenya, but also an Olympic record. It is on record that men’s 3000m steeplechase race is Kenya’s dynasty. Since 1984, a Kenyan has been awarded a medal in that race. Yesterday was no different as Conseslus Kipruto bagged Gold upsetting the crowd’s favorite and his compatriot Ezekiel Kemboi. Kipruto aced the race in 8:03:29 and pundits think he could have done much better time had he not slowed down at the last 150m stretch to the finish line. He set an Olympic record in Rio although far from his personal best of 8:00:12 which he achieved in Britain earlier this year. He could not hide his joy after beating Kemboi, “I’m so happy! I think the season has been good for me. I was aiming to beat Kemboi and be the Olympics champion”
USA’s Evans Jager took home a silver medal. He also had a season best time of 8:04:28. It was his hope and dream of being in the mix with Kenyans on the steeplechase front and hoped to beat them. True to his dreams, he beat 2 time Olympic champ Ezekiel Kemboi who settled for bronze (well it was a short lived bronze title as he was stripped). Kemboi crossed the line at 8:08:47. History repeated itself as Kipruto’s gold made it ninth in a row for Kenya in the sport.
Hours later after the medals were awarded; Mahiedine Mekhissi-Benabbad of France filed a formal complaint to the international Association of Athletics Federation citing “infringement of inside border”. Basically Kemboi was accused of stepping out of course and that makes short of 3000m. “When one makes the road less, this is not the (3,000-meter steeplechase),” he claimed. Mekhissi was 3 seconds late finishing at fourth place. The governing body examined the video and upheld the ruling, stripping Kemboi of his bronze and awarding it to the Frenchman.
Kemboi announced to journalist that he had reached his prime and was ready to retire. “
“I feel good after a career of 18 years and competing in my fourth Olympics. I’ve done my level best and I just want to say that today I’m officially retiring from athletics” a well revered character in the sport, no one can forget his victory comical dances, shirt strips, jumping on rivals hands, he was just charismatic. As Kemboi bows out of the water and barrier sport, the stage is set for Kipruto’s domination in the next few years.