Kenya's Ezekiel Kemboi has retired from international competitions following his disqualified from the Olympic Games men's 3,000m steeplechase. Kemboi who finished third in the race was reported to have stepped off the track following a complaint from Mahiedine Mekhissi of France ; who was subsequently elevatd to take the bronze medal.
Kemboi is a two-time Olympic champion and was holding the reigns in the category until Wednesday when compatriot Conseslus Kipruto took over.
A statement from IAAF confirmed that a protest was presented by the French team after the 3000m steeplechase men final against Kenyan athlete Ezekiel Kemboi on claims that he stepped off the track. An appeal jury confirmed this after reviewing the video of the race, where Kemboi was spotted stepping outside the track on the curved part before the home stretch after the water jump.
Kemboi has a colourful career to tell. Born in 1982, Kemboi won 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. He set his 3000 m steeplechase best of 7:55.76 set at Monaco in 2011. Kemboi is one of only three men to have won both Olympic and World golds in the category and is the only athlete to win four (successive) world championships in the steeplechase.
Conseslus Kipruto won the Gold medal in the 3000 steeple chase in Rio, locking the Kenyan dominated event home. Kipruto, whose intent to rule in the race has been obvious from his previous attempts started celebrating his victory well before the finish line.
"Even before the race I knew I would win," said Kipruto.
The reigning champion Ezekiel Kemboi finished third, only to be disqualified for stepping outside the demarcated area, announced his retirement. The elated Kipruto confirmed that he was ready to take up the mantle.
Kenya has taken gold in every 3,000m steeplechase race that the country has participated in since 1968.
Kipruto thanked Kemboi for being an inspiration over the years and vowed to ensure Kenya maintained its record in the race.
Conseslus Kipruto who was born in December 1994 commenced his climb in athletics in 2011 when he won the World Youth Championship title and the World Junior title the following year. His personal best is 8:00.12 minutes which he set at the Birmingham Diamond League event in 2016.
Kenya now has seven medals, four Gold and three silver.