Kemboi delays retirement in search of a final medal

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Kenya’s two-time Olympic steeplechase champion Ezekiel Kemboi has revoked his decision to retire from athletics.

The 34-year-old had initially announced his retirement after the Olympic Steeplechase final on Wednesday, believing he had won the bronze medal after crossing the finish line in 3rd.

However, his controversial disqualification from the race has urged him to carry on competing professionally, in order to finish his illustrious career with a medal.

“I had opted to retire right after the Olympics only if I had come home with this medal,” he announced on Facebook. “Now I feel that I have to bring back this medal, not by protesting again but right on track.”

Frenchman Mahiedine Mekhissi-Benabbad was instead awarded the bronze, after the French team claimed Kemboi had illegally stepped over the line on the final bend before the home straight.

The French athlete finished over 3 seconds behind Kemboi, leading many to claim that Kemboi did not gain a significant enough advantage to warrant disqualification.

Despite this, the 2012 Olympic champion’s title defence has ultimately ended with nothing, but the four-time world champion has vowed to make amends at the IAAF World Championships in London next year. 

“Kemboi is not retired,” he asserted, “I will be coming to London 2017 to reclaim my medal from France. No limits.”

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First published on: 19 August, 2016 12:00 am

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