Kenya's athletics pioneer Ben Jipcho dies at 77

Double gold medalist at the 1974 Christchurch Commonwealth Games Ben Jipcho is dead. Jipcho, 77, famed for being the legendary Kipchoge Keino's rabbit in the 1,500m at the 1968 Olympic Games passed away on Friday, July 24 shortly after 3am at the Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital, Eldoret where he was undergoing treatment.

In Mexico City's Estadio Olímpico Universitario, Jipcho who hails from Mt. Elgon, Bungoma County sacrificed his chance to medal for team tactic. He pulled Keino in the blistering opening 56-seconds 400m, setting him up to pass field leader America's Jim Ryun. Keino went on to open a 20m gap between himself and second placed Ryun in the last 800m as Jipcho fell back to the pack.

In Munich1972, the fallen celebrated athlete Settled for silver medal at the Mexico City Olympics clocking 8:24.64, a minute behind winner and compatriot Keino (8:23.64). Finish Tapio Kantanen bagged bronze medal.

The following year, Jipcho went on to become a double gold medalist at the All Africa Games winning both the 5,000m and 3,000m steeplechase races in Lagos, Nigeria.

At the 1974 Commonwealth Games Christchurch, New Zealand 1974, Jipcho, (a former Kenya Prisons warder) again ruled his specialties garnering gold medals in 5,000m and 3,000m steeplechase, and a bronze medal in the 1,500m.

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