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Kip Keino

Biographical information

Medals OG
Gold 2
Silver 2
Bronze 0
Total 4
TypeCompeted in Olympic Games, IOC member
Full nameKipchoge Hezekieh "Kip"•Keino
Used nameKip•Keino
Born17 January 1940 in Kipsamo (KEN)
Measurements173 cm / 66 kg
NOC Kenya


Kip Keino was the first great Kenyan middle- or long-distance runner, and inspired many of his fellow countrymen and women to become a distance running force. Keino played rugby before taking up athletics, and then served with the Kenyan Police Force, before beginning his international career at the 1962 Commonwealth Games, where he finished 11th in the 3-mile race. At the 1964 Tokyo Olympics he finished fifth in the 5,000 m and barely missed the 1,500 m final. On 27 August 1965, Keino improved the 3,000 m world record by over 6 seconds, recording 7:39.6 in his first attempt at the distance. Later in 1965 he broke the 5,000 m world record, clocking 13:24.2. At the 1966 Commonwealth Games, Keino won both the mile and 3-miles, while at the 1970 Commonwealth Games he defended in the 1,500 m, and finished third in the 5,000 m. Despite suffering from an illness at the 1968 Mexico City Olympics, Keino won the 1,500 m gold medal and 5,000 m silver medal, and then won the 3,000 m steeplechase, adding a silver in the 1,500 m at the 1972 München Olympics.

After finishing his sporting career in 1973, Keino lived on a farm in Western Kenya where he headed a charitable foundation for orphans and became president of the Kenyan Olympic Committee. In 1996 he was inducted into the World Sports Humanitarian Hall of Fame and in 2012 he was one of 24 athletes inducted as inaugural members of the International Association of Athletics Federations Hall Of Fame. At the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympic Opening Ceremony, Keino was given the first Olympic Laurel, in honor of his service to the Olympic Movement.

Personal Bests: 1500 – 3:34.91 (1968); 5000 – 13:24.2 (1965); 10000 – 28:06.4 (1968); 3000S – 8:23.64 (1972).


Games Discipline (Sport) / Event NOC / Team Pos Medal As
1964 Summer Olympics Athletics KEN Kip Keino
1,500 metres, Men (Olympic) 5 h2 r2/3
5,000 metres, Men (Olympic) 5
1968 Summer Olympics Athletics KEN Kip Keino
1,500 metres, Men (Olympic) 1 Gold
5,000 metres, Men (Olympic) 2 Silver
10,000 metres, Men (Olympic) AC
1972 Summer Olympics Athletics KEN Kip Keino
1,500 metres, Men (Olympic) 2 Silver
3,000 metres Steeplechase, Men (Olympic) 1 Gold

Olympic Records

Records may have been broken subsequently during the same competition.
Games Date Sport Event Phase Mark Pos
1968 Summer Olympics 20 October 1968 Athletics 1,500 metres, Men Final 3:34.9 1
1972 Summer Olympics 7 September 1972 Athletics 3,000 metres Steeplechase, Men Final 8:23.64 1

Organization roles

Role Organization Tenure NOC As
President National Olympic Committee Kenya 1999—2017 KEN Kip Keino
NOC International Olympic Committee 2000—2010 KEN Kip Keino
Honorary International Olympic Committee 2010— KEN Kip Keino

Other participations

Games Role NOC As
1972 Summer Olympics Flagbearer at the Opening Ceremony KEN Kip Keino

Special Notes