Naftali Temu

Biographical information

RolesCompeted in Olympic Games
Full nameNabiba Naftali•Temu
Used nameNaftali•Temu
Born20 April 1945 in Sotik, Kericho (KEN)
Died10 March 2003 in Nairobi, Nairobi (KEN)
Measurements174 cm / 62 kg
NOC Kenya
Medals OG
Gold 1
Silver 0
Bronze 1
Total 2


Naftali Temu made his international début at the 1964 Tokyo Olympics, where he was 49th in the marathon. Temu’s big breakthrough came at the 1966 Commonwealth Games, where he defeated world record holder Ron Clarke in the 6-miles to win gold.

At the 1968 Olympics, in the 10K final, only Ethiopian Mamo Wolde could follow Temu’s pace in the thin air of Mexico City. Wolde took the lead at the bell, but Temu passed him on the final straight to win the gold. Four days later, Temu took bronze in the 5,000. Three days later, Temu also ran the Olympic marathon, where he again had a great battle with Wolde, but the latter broke free just after the 30 km mark, and an exhausted Temu struggled home in 19th place.

Temu had little success in the final few years of his athletics career. He retired from sports in 1973 and later ran a farm in North Mugirango. He later died from pancreatic cancer for which he had difficulty obtaining treatment in his native Kenya.

Personal Bests: 5000 – 13:36.6 (1971); 10000 – 28:21.8 (1971); Mar – unknown.


Games Discipline (Sport) / Event NOC / Team Pos Medal As
1964 Summer Olympics Athletics KEN Naftali Temu
10,000 metres, Men (Olympic) DNF
Marathon, Men (Olympic) 49
1968 Summer Olympics Athletics KEN Naftali Temu
5,000 metres, Men (Olympic) 3 Bronze
10,000 metres, Men (Olympic) 1 Gold
Marathon, Men (Olympic) 19
1972 Summer Olympics Athletics KEN Naftali Temu
10,000 metres, Men (Olympic) 12 h1 r1/2

Special Notes