Paul Tanui

Paul Kipng'etich Tanui (born 22 December 1990) is a Kenyan long-distance runner. He won the 2010 Kenyan cross country title and went on to take the silver medal at the 2011 IAAF World Cross Country Championships.

Paul Tanui
Medal record
Men's athletics
Representing  Kenya
Olympic Games
Silver medal – second place 2016 Rio de Janeiro 10,000 m
World Championships
Bronze medal – third place 2013 Moscow 10,000 m
Bronze medal – third place 2015 Beijing 10,000 m
Bronze medal – third place 2017 London 10,000 m
World Cross Country Championships
Silver medal – second place 2011 Punta Umbría Men's race

He represented Kenya over 10,000 metres at the 2011 World Championships in Athletics and took ninth place. He also competed in the 2013 Moscow World Championships and took the bronze medal in the same event. In 2016, he won the silver medal in the men's 10,000m at the 2016 Olympics.

He has a personal best of 26:49.41 minutes for that event.


Hailing from Nakuru, Kenya, Paul began competing in major domestic cross country races in the 2007–2008 season: in two of the junior races at the KCB/Athletics Kenya Cross Country meetings he made the top eight,[1][2] and he went on to finish in sixth in the junior race at the Kenya National Cross Country Championships in 2008.[3] He competed on the track at the provincial level in June and ran a time of 14:19.76 for second place in the 5000 metres behind Evans Mayoyo.[4]

Tanui improved further the following season, finishing fourth in the junior race in Meru,[5] winning at the Nyanza South Provincial Championships,[6] then taking second place in the junior race at the 2009 Kenya Championships, behind John Kemboi. This gave him automatic selection for the Kenyan team at the 2009 IAAF World Cross Country Championships.[7] He came close to making the podium but ended up in fourth despite recording the same time as bronze medallist Moses Kibet.[8][9] Despite not reaching the top three, he managed to help the Kenyan junior men to the team gold that year.

After moving to Fukuoka, Japan in mid-2009 to improve his running, the 2010 season proved to be another step up for Tanui.[10] At the beginning of the year he took part in the New Year Ekiden for the Kyudenko Corporation, where he ran the fastest in his stage.[11] Competing in the men's senior race at the Kenya Championships for the first time, Tanui surprised his competitors with a significant victory. He defeated a number of established runners to win the men's title by a margin of over thirty seconds.[10] With former champions Kenenisa Bekele and Zersenay Tadese not competing at the 2010 IAAF World Cross Country Championships, Tanui was suggested as a tentative favourite for the competition.[12] He failed to carry over his strong domestic form to the world stage, but the 19-year-old still managed to reach the top ten in his first attempt at the senior level, finishing eighth and helping Kenya to the team gold.[13][14]

Seventh place at the 2011 Kenyan trials meant that he was not selected for the world event,[15] but a dispute between Leonard Komon and Athletics Kenya saw Tanui drafted in as a late replacement.[16] He went on to finish the 2011 IAAF World Cross Country Championships as his nation's best performer by taking the silver medal, two seconds behind race winner Imane Merga. Tanui also led the Kenyans to the team gold medal.[17] A third-place finish at the Trofeo Alàsport meet behind Merga and Caleb Ndiku brought his cross country season to a close.[18] He ran a series of track bests that year starting with 10,000 metres run of 26:50.63 minutes for fourth place at the Prefontaine Classic, a time of 13:04.65 min for the 5000 m in Barcelona and then 3000 metres best of 7:50.88 min in Arzana. As one of the fastest Kenyans over 10,000 m that year, he was chosen to compete in that event at the 2011 World Championships in Athletics. However, he ran a minute slower than his season's best in the event final and finished ninth overall.[19]

At the beginning of 2012, he beat Geoffrey Kipsang in a sprint finish to win the men's race at the Cross Internacional Juan Muguerza and was runner-up at the Trofeo Alasport.[20][21]

Personal bestsEdit

Event Time (m:s) Venue Date
3000 m 7:46.61 Paris Saint-Denis, France 27 August 2016
5000 m 12:58.69 Rome, Italy 4 June 2015
10,000 m 26:49.41 Eugene, United States 30 May 2014
  • All information taken from IAAF profile.[19]

Competition recordEdit

Year Competition Venue Position Event Notes
2009 World Cross Country Championships Amman, Jordan 4th Junior race Individual
1st Junior race Team
2010 World Cross Country Championships Bydgoszcz, Poland 8th Senior race Individual
1st Senior race Team
2011 World Cross Country Championships Punta Umbría, Spain 2nd Senior race Individual
1st Senior race Team
World Championships Daegu, Korea 9th 10,000 m 27:54.03
2013 World Championships Moscow, Russia 3rd 10,000 m 27:22.61
2015 World Championships Beijing, China 3rd 10,000 m 27:02.83
2016 Olympic Games Rio de Janeiro, Brazil 2nd 10,000 m 27:05.64
2017 World Championships London, Great Britain 3rd 10,000 m 26:50.60
2019 African Games Rabat, Morocco 10,000 m DNF


  1. ^ Okoth, Omulu (15 December 2007). No stopping Kitwara this season – 5th AK Cross Country Meeting. IAAF. Retrieved on 31 March 2010.
  2. ^ Macharia, David (7 December 2007). Kipsang, Chemwono cruise to victory in Eldoret. IAAF. Retrieved on 31 March 2010.
  3. ^ Okoth, Omulu (1 March 2008). Ngatunyi, Momanyi take Kenyan Cross titles, provisional squad for Edinburgh announced. IAAF. Retrieved on 31 March 2010.
  4. ^ Njenga, Peter (22 June 2008). Kenyan Provincial Championships Round-up. IAAF. Retrieved on 31 March 2010.
  5. ^ Makori, Elias (29 November 2008). Korikwiang collects second series win, Chebon sprints to men’s title – AK XC Meet 3. IAAF. Retrieved on 31 March 2010.
  6. ^ Okoth, Omulu (7 February 2009).Mutai and Chepkwony win in South Rift as two perish in Kisii. IAAF. Retrieved on 31 March 2010.
  7. ^ Makori, Elias (21 February 2009). Veterans Mosop and Kiplagat prevail in Nairobi – Kenyan World XC Champs Trials. IAAF. Retrieved on 31 March 2010.
  8. ^ Powell, David (28 March 2009). Abshero reaches the top step of the podium this time – Amman 2009. IAAF. Retrieved on 31 March 2010.
  9. ^ Junior Race – M Final. IAAF (28 March 2009). Retrieved on 31 March 2010.
  10. ^ a b Makori, Elias (20 February 2010). Tanui emerges while Masai pounces as Kenya selects squad for Bydgoszcz. IAAF. Retrieved on 31 March 2010.
  11. ^ Nakamura, Ken & Onishi, Akihiro (1 January 2010). Nissin Foods finally wins New Year Ekiden in Maebashi. IAAF. Retrieved on 31 March 2010.
  12. ^ Butler, Mark (24 March 2010). Bydgoszcz 2010 – Time for another Paul? Men's Races Preview. IAAF. Retrieved on 31 March 2010.
  13. ^ Butler, Mark (28 March 2010). Joseph Ebuya ends Kenyan drought – Men's Senior race report. IAAF. Retrieved on 31 March 2010.
  14. ^ Senior Race – M Final. IAAF (28 March 2010). Retrieved on 31 March 2010.
  15. ^ Mutwiri, Mutuota (19 February 2011). Mutai and Masai take hard fought wins in Nairobi; reigning World champs Ebuya and Chebet won’t defend. IAAF. Retrieved on 29 March 2011.
  16. ^ I had permission to attend Puerto Rico race, insists Komon. Kenya Broadcasting Corporation (2 March 2011). Retrieved on 29 March 2011.
  17. ^ Minshull, Phil (20 March 2011). Merga gets a rare taste of victory – Men’s senior race report – Punta Umbrìa 2011. IAAF. Retrieved on 29 March 2011.
  18. ^ Sampaolo, Diego (28 March 2011). Another cross country win for World champion Merga – Alà dei Sardi report. IAAF. Retrieved on 29 March 2011.
  19. ^ a b Paul Tanui. IAAF. Retrieved on 22 January 2012.
  20. ^ Valiente, Emeterio (22 January 2012). Tanui and Wude Yimer take the spoils at Elgoibar Cross Country. IAAF. Retrieved on 22 January 2012.
  21. ^ Sampaolo, Diego (26 March 2012). Kipkoech and Jepleting take close victories in Sardinia XC. IAAF. Retrieved on 26 March 2012.

External linksEdit