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Kenya steeplechase star Brimin out to wipe London 2012 pain in Rio

01 August 2016, 17:26

Nairobi(Xinhua) -- At 31, it is hard to believe Brimin Kiprop Kipruto will be running his fourth Olympics in a race where Kenya have dominated since its first men's 3,000m steeplechase gold in Mexico 1968 by Amos Biwott.

Kipruto takes his pride of place in a roll of honour that has seen Kenyan water and barrier masters win the event in every since Olympics since 1984 when the country returned to the quadrennial showpiece following his triumph at the 2008 Beijing Games in China.

While there will be no surprise if a male runner from the East African nation wins the nation's 11th straight steeplechase Olympics gold medal, Brimin is on a personal mission to return to the podium in Rio after missing the medals in London 2012.

His secondary aim is to help his countrymen, titleholder Ezekiel Kemboi and Beijing 2015 IAAF World Championships bronze winner, Conseslus Kipruto, complete a clean sweep.

The second-fastest steeplechaser of all time has buried the incident in London that saw him tripped by fierce domestic rival Kemboi with two laps to go that knocked him off his rhythm and forced him down the order in fifth (8:23.03) having weathered the animosity in the run-up to the Brazil extravaganza.

Kemboi took the title in 8:18.56 while Mahiedine Mekhissi-Benabbad (France) got the silver in 8:19.08 and Abel Mutai settled for surprise bronze in 8:19.73 denying Brimin a third Olympics medal.

"In London, I fell during the finals and I was disappointed. It feels good to be with Kemboi in the team as we will be participating in our fourth Olympics.

"I moved on and hopefully this time round I won't be cut out of the medal bracket unceremoniously," the soft-spoken Osaka 2007 world champion added.

"The training has been great and I'm responding well to training. When we go there we have one mission in mind take all the medals and bring them home," he charged.

"At the Trials, the three of us had planned to make the team. That's why we did not kick at the end. Kemboi was very happy that we made it that's why he was holding my hand at the finish line," the 2004 Athens silver medalist expounded on how his relationship with the runner who has won every major steeplechase title since the Berlin 2009 World Championships has improved.

Brimin missed the world record at the 2011 Herculis Monaco Grand Prix IAAF Diamond League meeting by a second when he flew to 7:53.64 to leave Kenyan born Qatari, Saif Saeed Shaheen's world record of 7:53.63 still the standard.

"I had mixed emotions about it but I thank God because I have the African record and I'm world second fastest. It did not affect me in any way but I hope to make my fourth Olympics golden since I fell in London," he recounted.

- Xinhua


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