Kenyan steeplechaser Kemboi seeks fourth world title

Nairobi, July 31 (IANS) His last performance at the Bird’s Nest at the 2008 Olympic Games was a disappointment, but world 3,000 metres steeplechase champion Ezekiel Kemboi of Kenyan is hopeful he will be successful on his return next month.

Seven years ago, Kemboi could only manage a seventh place finish as compatriot Brimin Kipruto ran away with the gold medal, Xinhua reported on Thursday.

Kemboi, however, is not keen to put all his cards on the table during the national trials in Nairobi on Friday and Saturday because he holds a wild card as a world champion.

“I will be running at the trials and I will give it my best to qualify. I have a wild card, but I still need to show my fans that I am in best form,” Kemboi said.

At 34, Kemboi seems to have been around for almost an eternity. He has won everything from Olympics, World Championships, Commonwealth Games, Africa Championships and the Diamond League.

Kemboi can justifiably lay claim to being the best steeplechaser of all time. With two Olympic gold medals, three world titles as well as two Commonwealth Games titles and an All Africa Games crown under his collection, there is nothing that will unruffled his feathers in the water and barrier distance.

Yet despite all this collections, his skinny legs and funny hairstyle will not be tiring soon or serve as a distraction as Kemboi puts his focus on the another World Championships, his seventh in Beijing next month.

Kemboi certainly is the best that has ever been in the steeplechase and even his coach Moses Kiptanui, a former world champion in the distance appreciates.

“Kemboi is disciplined. He has the hunger every time he lines up at the start of the race. It has helped him edge out younger steeplechasers and I hope he will shine in Beijing,” he said.

Kemboi is the second Kenyan after Kipchoge Keino to win the Olympic gold medals twice and also a second Kenyan to win World Championships titles three times alongside his coach Kiptanui.

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