Kenyan runner who broke 4 world marks in record time passes away at 72

February 16, 2024, 6:36 pm

NAIROBI, Kenya – Kenyan athletics legend Henry Rono, who broke four world records in a span of only 81 days in 1978, died Thursday at the age of 72.

Athletics Kenya (AK), the governing body for the sport, said in a statement that Rono, who specialized in long-distance running events, passed away at Nairobi South Hospital after being hospitalized for 10 days.

"On behalf of the Athletics Kenya Executive Committee and athletics fraternity, we wish to convey our sincere heartfelt condolence to his family, friends and the entire athletics fraternity during this trying moment," AK said in a statement.

Rono is best known for his record-breaking performances in the 1970s and 1980s.

Within a mere span of 81 days, he shattered four world records, setting exceptional times in the 10,000-meter, 5,000-meter and two separate 3,000-meter races.

He held the world record for the 3,000-meter steeplechase for over a decade and also set the 5,000-meter world record twice.

Rono also won gold medals in the 3,000-meter and 5,000-meter steeplechase at the 1978 Commonwealth Games.

AK did not provide details regarding the circumstances of the veteran athlete's passing.

Rono's death comes just days after the death of another Kenyan athletics legend, Kelvin Kiptum. Kiptum, a marathon runner, died on Feb. 11 in an accident at the age of 24. (Anadolu)