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Milcah Chemos Cheywa

Milcah Chemos Cheywa (born 24 February 1986 in Bugaa, Mount Elgon District)[1][2] is a runner from Kenya who specialises in 3000 metres steeplechase. She is African record holder at the distance and is the gold medalist of the 2013 World Championships in Athletics.

Milcah Chemos Cheywa
2012-06-07 Bislett Games Milcah Chemos.jpg
Chemos as the 2012 Bislett Games
Medal record
Women's athletics
Representing  Kenya
Olympic Games
Bronze medal – third place 2012 London 3000 m st.
World Championships
Gold medal – first place 2013 Moscow 3000 m st.
Silver medal – second place 2009 Berlin 3000 m st.
Silver medal – second place 2011 Daegu 3000 m st.
Commonwealth Games
Gold medal – first place 2010 Delhi 3000 m st.
Silver medal – second place 2014 Glasgow 3000 m st.
Continental Cup
Silver medal – second place 2010 Split 3000 m st.


Early lifeEdit

She is from Bugaa village, but moved to Kitale with her family, where she went to Matumbei and St Phillips primary schools. Later she went to St Claire's Girls High School in Maragoli.[3]

After schooling she went to the Kenya Police College (KPC) in Kiganjo in 2005. There she met Alex Sang and soon married. He urged her to start running, but she did not start serious training until 2008. Initially racing over 800 and 1500 metres, she finished 7th in the 800 metres at the 2008 Kenyan Olympic trials, 12 seconds behind the winner Pamela Jelimo.[4][5]



Chemos converted to steeplechase running in March 2009, after being introduced to the discipline by Richard Mateelong, the Olympic steeplechase medalist posted at KPC. She won her debut race, at the Athletics Kenya meeting in Kakamega, timing 9:54.4, and soon improved her PB to 9:22.33 at the KBC Night of Athletics meeting in Heusden-Zolder, Belgium.[4] Competing in the 2009 World Championships, she won a bronze medal in a personal best 9:08.57, behind Marta Domínguez and Yuliya Zarudneva.[6] Dominguez was disqualified afterward for a doping violation.


In 2010, Chemos won gold medals in the 3000 metre steeplechase at the African Championships and the Commonwealth Games, heading a Kenyan clean sweep of the medals in the latter. She also took Diamond League victories in Oslo, Rome, Eugene and London, en route to capturing the overall Diamond League title in the steeplechase.[1][7]

As a result of her successes during the 2010 season, Chemos was one of five females shortlisted for the IAAF World Athlete of the Year award, won by high jumper Blanka Vlašić.[8]


Chemos entered the 2011 World Championships in Daegu, South Korea as favourite for the 3000 metres steeplechase, having won all five of the Diamond League races in which she had competed prior to the championship. However, she was unable to improve upon her bronze medal of two years previous, finishing in third place, over 10 seconds behind race winner Yuliya Zaripova. Chemos subsequently lost again to Zaripova at the final Diamond League meeting of the season – the Memorial Van Damme in Brussels – but the Kenyan had already established an unbeatable lead in the Diamond Race standings and thus retained her title.[9][10][11]


At the start of 2012, Chemos ran at the Cross de San Sebastián and was the runner-up behind Nazareth Weldu.[12] She began the 2012 IAAF Diamond League season in dominant fashion, winning the steeplechase in Shanghai, Eugene and Oslo. At the third of these victories, Chemos broke the African 3000 metre steeplechase record of Eunice Jepkorir, winning in a new personal best and Bislett Games record time of 9:07.14.[13]

In 2013, she won women's 3000m Steeplechase at the World Athletics Championships, clocking in 9:36.16.[14]

Personal lifeEdit

Her husband Alex Sang is a middle-distance runner. They have a four-year-old daughter as of 2010.[15]

Like Milcah, running siblings Linet Masai and Moses Masai are from Bugaa village.[3]

International competitionsEdit

Year Competition Venue Position Event Notes
2009 World Championships Berlin, Germany 3rd 3000 m steeplechase 9:08.57
World Athletics Final Thessaloniki, Greece 2nd 3000 m steeplechase 9:20.19
2010 African Championships Nairobi, Kenya 1st 3000 m steeplechase 9:32.18 CR
Continental Cup Split, Croatia 2nd 3000 m steeplechase 9:25.84
Commonwealth Games New Delhi, India 1st 3000 m steeplechase 9:40.96
2011 World Championships Daegu, South Korea 3rd 3000 m steeplechase 9:17.16
2012 Olympic Games London, United Kingdom 3rd 3000 m steeplechase 9:09.88
2013 World Championships Moscow, Russia 1st 3000 m steeplechase 9:11.65
2014 Commonwealth Games Glasgow, Scotland 2nd 3000 m steeplechase 9:31.30

Personal bestsEdit

Event Time (m:s) Venue Date
1500 metres 4:12.30 Nairobi, Kenya 6 June 2009
3000 metres 8:43.92 Zagreb, Croatia 31 August 2009
3000 m steeplechase 9:07.14 Oslo, Norway 7 June 2012
  • All information taken from IAAF profile.


  1. ^ a b Wokabi, James; Mutuota, Mutwiri. "IAAF Focus on Athletes Biography". International Association of Athletics Federations. Retrieved 6 June 2013.
  2. ^ "Milcah Chemos Cheywa Bio, Stats and Results". Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved 6 June 2013.
  3. ^ a b Daily Nation, 25 August 2009: Milcah, fresh from New KCC Retrieved 17 August 2009.
  4. ^ a b The Standard, 13 August 2009: Introducing Milka[dead link]
  5. ^ Athletics Kenya: 2008 Olympic trials results[dead link]
  6. ^ "2009 World Championships, 3000 metres steeplechase women final". IAAF. 17 August 2009. Archived from the original on 20 August 2009.
  7. ^ Rowbottom, Mike (10 October 2010). "Two more gold for Kenya, Adams dominates Shot Put". IAAF. Retrieved 1 May 2016.
  8. ^ "2010 Athletes of the Year – and the female finalists are..." IAAF. 10 November 2010. Archived from the original on 5 June 2011. Retrieved 11 November 2011.
  9. ^ Ramsak, Bob (30 August 2011). "Daegu 2011 – Expected Highlights – Day Four, 30 August". Archived from the original on 15 September 2011. Retrieved 15 November 2011.
  10. ^ Ramsak, Bob (30 August 2011). "Daegu 2011 – Day 4 SUMMARY – 30 August". Retrieved 1 May 2016.
  11. ^ Rowbottom, Mike (16 September 2011). "Blake upstages the world in Brussels". Retrieved 1 May 2016.
  12. ^ Mike Kigen y Nazareth Weldu ganan sobre el barro en San Sebastián. Terra (29 January 2012). Retrieved on 31 January 2012.
  13. ^ Mutuota, Mutwiri (8 June 2012). "Chemos re-writes history, Kiprop cruises". IAAF. 98.4 Capital FM. Retrieved 11 June 2012.
  14. ^ "World Athletics Championships: Sudha Singh finishes 12th in 3000m steeplechase". Daily News and Analysis. 10 August 2013. Retrieved 1 May 2016.
  15. ^ "Chemos eyeing African record in Rome, and 2011 World title – IAAF Diamond League". IAAF. 9 June 2010. Archived from the original on 14 August 2010. Retrieved 9 June 2010.

External linksEdit