Open main menu

Charles Waweru Kamathi (born 18 May 1978, near Nyeri, Kenya) is a Kenyan long-distance runner. He is best known for winning the 10,000 metres distance at the 2001 World Championships in Edmonton.

Charles Kamathi
Charles Kamathi.jpg
Kamathi in the 2008 Rotterdam Marathon
Medal record
Men’s athletics
Representing  Kenya
World Championships
Gold medal – first place 2001 Edmonton 10,000 m



Early life and careerEdit

Kamathi started running in 1995. He graduated from Njogu-Ini Secondary School in 1996. In 1997 he went to run for Toyota club in Japan, but had to leave back home only after days later due to tendinitis and Toyota replaced him with Simon Maina. Kamathi joined Kenya Police in 1998. On 3 September 1999 he made his international breakthrough by winning a 10000 metres race at the Memorial Van Damme meeting in Brussels by running 26:51.49, then the fifth best time ever and the world's fastest time in 1999.[1]

Following this, he took to the European cross country running circuit and beat multiple world champion Paul Tergat three times,[1] taking victories at the Almond Blossom Cross Country, Cross Internacional de Itálica and Cinque Mulini race.[2][3][4] Despite a poor finish at the Kenya World trials event, he was selected for the 2000 IAAF World Cross Country Championships. He did not live up to his circuit form and was seventh place in the long race, behind four of his compatriots.[5] His 2000 season was hampered by a hamstring injury and he did not managed to make the Kenyan team for the 2000 Summer Olympics.[1]

World championEdit

Fully recovered, he returned to the European cross country meets and won again at the Cinque Mulini and Itálica races.[3][4] He qualified for the 2001 IAAF World Cross Country Championships and won his first major medal in the men's long race. Kamathi won the bronze medal (behind Mohammed Mourhit and Serhiy Lebid) and led a Kenyan team which included Paul Kosgei and Patrick Ivuti to the team gold medal.[6] An even greater achievement awaited him at the 2001 World Championships in Athletics. He took on defending world champion Haile Gebrselassie in the 10,000 m and managed to beat both him and Olympic medallist Assefa Mezgebu to the line in the final lap, taking the world gold medal in the event. The victory, in which Kamathi sprinted from fourth to first in the final 200 metres, broke Haile's undefeated streak of 37 races.[7]

In September he competed at the 10-mile Dam tot Damloop in the Netherlands and managed to win the race in a time of 46:05 minutes.[8]

Marathon runningEdit

Charles Kamathi at the Berlin Marathon in 2008

He made his marathon debut at the 2007 Milan Marathon and finished fourth by running 2:11:25.[9] He finished third at his second marathon, the 2008 Rotterdam Marathon and bettered his personal record to 2:07:33.[10] He ran at the Milan Marathon in April 2010, but suffered cramps at the 30 km point and finished in second place.[11] He entered the Eindhoven Marathon in October and had a close battle with Nicholas Chelimo and Paul Biwott at the finish. Kamathi just pipped Chelimo at the line to win the race, recording a time of 2:07:38 – the same as the runner-up.[12]

Personal lifeEdit

He is from the Kikuyu tribe. His manager is Federico Rosa and his coach is Gabriele Rosa.[1]

International competitionsEdit

Personal bestsEdit

Kamathi (right) with the leading pack at the Berlin Marathon
  • 3000 metres - 7:41.89 (2003)
  • 5000 metres - 13:02.51 (2002)
  • 10,000 metres - 26:51.49 (1999)
  • Half marathon - 1:00:22 (2002)
  • Marathon - 2:07:33 (2008)


  1. ^ a b c d IAAF: Focus on Africa - Charles Waweru Kamathi (KEN)
  2. ^ Civai, Franco (2009-03-09). Amendoeiras em Flor (Almond Blossom) 10 km and 6 km. Association of Road Racing Statisticians. Retrieved on 2010-03-10.
  3. ^ a b Cinque Mulini Men's winners Archived 2011-07-25 at the Wayback Machine. Cinque Mulini. Retrieved on 2010-02-05.
  4. ^ a b Civai, Franco & Gasparovic, Juraj (2010-01-18). Cross Italica. Association of Road Racing Statisticians. Retrieved on 2010-01-30.
  5. ^ Official Results - CROSS LONG RACE Men Archived 2009-08-30 at the Wayback Machine. IAAF (2000-03-19). Retrieved on 2010-10-12.
  6. ^ Wallace-Jones, Sean (2001-03-25). Mourhit gives best possible reward to Belgium Archived March 16, 2011, at the Wayback Machine. IAAF. Retrieved on 2010-10-12.
  7. ^ 2001 World Championships - 10,000 metres final Archived September 30, 2012, at the Wayback Machine. IAAF (2010-08-09). Retrieved on 2010-10-12.
  8. ^ Dam tot Dam 10 mile. Association of Road Racing Statisticians (2009-09-19). Retrieved on 2010-10-12.
  9. ^ IAAF, 2 December 2007: Cheruiyot wins in debut, Chepchumba cruises to personal best in Milan
  10. ^ IAAF, 13 April 2008: Kipsang sets 2:05:49 course record in Rotterdam
  11. ^ Sampaolo, Diego (2010-04-12). Surprise victories for Kipchumba and Mengistu in Milan. IAAF. Retrieved on 2010-04-12.
  12. ^ van Hemert, Wim (2010-10-10). In a thriller, Kamathi takes 2:07:38 victory in Eindhoven. IAAF. Retrieved on 2010-10-12.

External linksEdit