Wilson Kipketer



World Champion
3 x

Country Denmark
Date of birth 12-Dec-1970 
Era 1990s, 2000s
List of honours World Championship Gold: 800m 1995, 1997, 1999

Wilson Kipketer
Profile Kipketer was born on 12 December 1972, in Kapsabet, Kenya, into the Kalenjin tribe. As a teenager, he was first noticed by double Olympic champion Kip Keino. He advised Kipketer to attend St. Patrick's High School in Iten, a school that was famous for bringing up young runners. In 1990, Kipketer travelled to Denmark as a foreign exchange student, studying electronic engineering at the University of Copenhagen. He liked Denmark a lot and applied for Danish citizenship. Kipketer competed for Denmark in the 1995 world championships, claiming his first World Championship 800m title. He went on to successfully defend his 800m title in Athens (1997) and Seville (1999). As Kipketer was not yet a full Danish citizen, the International Olympic Committee banned him from representing Denmark at the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta. Therefore, Kipketer’s Olympic debut only came in 2000. In Sydney, Kipketer took silver in the 800m trailing Germany’s Nils Schumann by six hundredths of a second. In 2002, Kipketer was more successful winning the European title in Munich, defeating the reigning world champion, Andre Bucher of Switzerland and Olympic champion, Nils Schumann. Four years after his Olympic debut, Kipketer participated in the 2004 Athens Olympics in a final attempt for Olympic gold. He finished third to Yuriy Borzakovskiy and Mbulaeni Mulaudzi. After this bronze medal race Kipketer realised he would never win Olympic gold and decided to end his professional career in athletics. One year later, in August 2005, Kipketer officially announced his retirement. Kipketer reached the peak of his career in 1997. First he broke the world indoor record twice during the World Indoor Championships in March, then in July he equalled Sebastian Coe's 16-year-old outdoor world record for the 800m before going on to break this record twice in August of the same year.