Ezekiel Kemboi

Ezekiel Kemboi Cheboi (born 25 May 1982) is a Kenyan professional athlete, winner of the 3000 metres steeplechase at the 2004 Summer Olympics, the 2009 World Championships, the 2011 World Championships, the 2012 Summer Olympics, the 2013 World Championships and the 2015 World Championships. His 3000 m steeplechase best of 7:55.76 set at Monaco in 2011 places him as the sixth fastest of all time.[2] This time is also the fastest non-winning time in history. He is one of only four men to have won both Olympic and World golds in the event, along with Reuben Kosgei, Brimin Kipruto and Conseslus Kipruto. He is the only multiple gold medalist in both. He is the only athlete to have won four world championships in the steeplechase (which he won consecutively), and only the second athlete to win two Olympic titles in the event (after Volmari Iso-Hollo).

Ezekiel Kemboi
Ezekiel Kemboi Moscow 2013.jpg
Personal information
Full nameEzekiel Kemboi Cheboi[1]
Born (1982-05-25) 25 May 1982 (age 39)[1]
Matira, Rift Valley Province, Kenya[1]
Height1.67 m (5 ft 5+12 in)[1]
Weight52 kg (115 lb)[1]
SportTrack & field
Event(s)3000 metres steeplechase
Updated on 24 August 2015.


Born in Matira, which is near Kapsowar, Marakwet District, Kemboi graduated from Kapsowar Boys Secondary School in 1999. He did not take up athletics until after he left school, but was spotted by Paul Ereng and won the African Junior Championships in 2001 despite falling.[3]

Kemboi became African Junior Champion in 2001 and then in 2002, he finished second at the Commonwealth Games behind compatriot Stephen Cherono. The same year Kemboi was originally fourth at the African Championships in Athletics, but was later awarded bronze after the winner Moroccan Brahim Boulami received a doping suspension.

At the 2003 World Championships, Kemboi had a gruelling battle with former teammate Saif Saeed Shaheen (formerly Stephen Cherono) who represented his new country Qatar, before Shaheen pulled away from the exhausted Kemboi to win by less than a second. Kemboi won the gold medal at the 2003 All-Africa Games.

In the absence of Shaheen – the Kenyan Olympic Committee refused to waive the three-year eligibility delay for established athletes who switch nationalities – Kemboi rose to a main favourite status at the Athens Olympics. The race went very much according to form, with the three Kenyans Kemboi, Brimin Kipruto and Paul Kipsiele Koech pushing the pace from the second lap and soon leaving the rest of the field behind and Kemboi winning a gold medal 0.3 seconds ahead of Kipruto in a Kenyan sweep.

In August 2005 he won a silver medal at the 2005 World Championships in Athletics again behind Shaheen, and in March 2006 he won the 2006 Commonwealth Games. He finished second at the 2006 African Championships in Athletics, but was disqualified for improper hurdling.[3] At the 2007 World Championships in Athletics he won his third successive silver medal, this time losing to Kipruto.

Kemboi represented Kenya at the 2008 Beijing Olympics but managed only seventh – his worst performance on the global stage. He rebounded with a win at the 2009 World Championships (his first world championship gold medal) after three successive silvers and took silver at the 2010 African Championships the following year behind 2008 bronze medalist Richard Mateelong.

He took to the road races of Italy in August 2010, beating Peter Kimeli to the tape to win the Corribianco race in Bianco,[4] then taking the honours at the 8.5-kilometre Amatrice-Configno.[5]

He won the gold medal at the 2011 World Championships in Athletics in Daegu, South Korea.

Kemboi won the gold medal for Kenya in the 3000m Steeplechase in London 2012.[6][7] Kemboi won in a time of eight minutes 18.56 seconds.

In 2013 he added his third straight gold medal at the World Championships. In 2015, he took his fourth successive title at the 2015 World Championships in Athletics. On August 17, 2016, he won a bronze medal for Kenya in the 3000m Steeplechase in Rio Olympics 2016. He then announced his retirement after the win.[8][9] Kemboi was later that day disqualified for stepping outside of the track.[10] An investigation into the incident was instigated when the French Olympic team complained that the runner had stepped out of the track after his final water jump during the race. The bronze medal was subsequently awarded to French runner Mahiedine Mekhissi-Benabbad.[11] He announced his retirement immediately following the Olympic race, but rescinded that decision after learning of his disqualification. He made one final attempt, making the finals at the 2017 World Championships, where he finished a disappointing 11th place.

Personal lifeEdit

Kemboi is managed by Enrico Dionisi. Since 2002 he has owned a 50-acre (20 ha) farm near Moi's Bridge, Trans-Nzoia District.[3] He is married to Jane Kemboi with two sons. Since 2009 he has been coached by Moses Kiptanui, who is also his neighbour.[12]

His participation in the 2012 Olympics was initially put in doubt when he was charged with assault in June 2012, after a woman claimed he stabbed her after she refused his sexual advances.[13]


Year Competition Venue Position Notes
2001 African Junior Championships Réduit, Mauritius 1st 3000 m s'chase
2002 Commonwealth Games Manchester, England 2nd 3000 m s'chase
African Championships Radès, Tunisia 4th 3000 m s'chase
2003 All-Africa Games Abuja, Nigeria 1st 3000 m s'chase
World Championships Paris, France 2nd 3000 m s'chase
World Athletics Final Monte Carlo, Monaco 3rd 3000 m s'chase
2004 Olympic Games Athens, Greece 1st 3000 m s'chase
World Athletics Final Monte Carlo, Monaco 2nd 3000 m s'chase
2005 World Championships Helsinki, Finland 2nd 3000 m s'chase
World Athletics Final Monte Carlo, Monaco 2nd 3000 m s'chase
2006 Commonwealth Games Melbourne, Australia 1st 3000 m s'chase
World Athletics Final Stuttgart, Germany 5th 3000 m s'chase
2007 All-Africa Games Algiers, Algeria 2nd 3000 m steeple
World Championships Osaka, Japan 2nd 3000 m s'chase
2008 Olympic Games Beijing, China 7th 3000 m s'chase
World Athletics Final Stuttgart, Germany 2nd 3000 m s'chase
2009 World Championships Berlin, Germany 1st 3000 m s'chase
World Athletics Final Thessaloniki, Greece 1st 3000 m s'chase
2010 African Championships Nairobi, Kenya 2nd 3000 m s'chase
2011 World Championships Daegu, South Korea 1st 3000 m s'chase
2012 Olympic Games London, England 1st 3000 m s'chase
2013 World Championships Moscow, Russia 1st 3000 m s'chase
2014 Commonwealth Games Glasgow, Scotland 3rd 3000 m s'chase
2015 World Championships Beijing, China 1st 3000 m s'chase
2016 Olympic Games Rio de Janeiro, Brazil DQ 3000 m s'chase
2017 World Championships London, United Kingdom 11th 3000 m s'chase


  1. ^ a b c d e "Ezekiel Kemboi". sports-reference.com. Sports Reference LLC. Archived from the original on 17 April 2020. Retrieved 2 June 2015.
  2. ^ 3000 Metres Steeplechase All Time. IAAF. Retrieved on 10 August 2010.
  3. ^ a b c IAAF, 24 August 2004: Focus on Athletes – Ezekiel Kemboi (KEN)
  4. ^ Kemboi and Kalovics win Corribianco road race. IAAF (8 August 2010). Retrieved on 2010-0*-10.
  5. ^ Amatrice: vince Kemboi, 11° Baldini Archived 22 November 2010 at the Wayback Machine. FIDAL. Retrieved on 28 August 2010.
  6. ^ "London Olympics: Ezekiel Kemboi regains steeplechase gold". The Times of India. Retrieved 6 August 2012.
  7. ^ https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/olympics/19141802 Olympic athletics: Kemboi wins gold in 3,000m steeplechase
  8. ^ http://www.sportal.co.nz/article/news/rio-2016-two-time-olympic-champion-ezekiel-kemboi-announces-retirement/t2x7f4tnf0651502e6hrbwh3u Kemboi Announces Retirement
  9. ^ http://www.standardmedia.co.ke/sports/article/2000212396/ezekiel-kemboi-announces-retirement-after-bagging-bronze-for-kenya-at-the-rio-olympics Kemboi Announces Retirement
  10. ^ Kemboi disqualified from steeplechase, Mekhissi takes bronze
  11. ^ Koech, B. M. "Kemboi Disqualified | Athletes of Kenya". Archived from the original on 26 August 2016. Retrieved 18 August 2016.
  12. ^ The Standard, 21 August 2009: Kemboi thanks family after golden triumph in Berlin
  13. ^ BBC, 28 June 2012: Kenyan athlete Ezekiel Kemboi charged over stabbing

External linksEdit