|3000 Metres||7:41.95||Torino||04 JUN 2009|
|5000 Metres||13:11.81||Yokohama||22 JUN 2008|
|10,000 Metres||27:01.83||Tendo||16 MAY 2009|
|10 Kilometres||27:49||Sapporo||05 JUL 2009|
|15 Kilometres||42:18||Sapporo||05 JUL 2009|
|20 Kilometres||56:52||Nagoya||23 NOV 2009|
|Half Marathon||59:50||Nagoya||23 NOV 2009|
|Marathon||2:17:47||Chongqing||17 MAR 2012|
|2009||13:12.02||Hengelo (Blankers-Koen Stadion)||01 JUN|
Focus on Athletes biographies are produced by the IAAF Communications Dept, and not by the IAAF Statistics and Documentation Division. If you have any enquiries concerning the information, please use the Contact IAAF page, selecting ‘Focus on Athletes Biographies’ in the drop down menu of contact area options.
Updated 22 March 2008
Gideon Ngatuny, Kenya (5000m, 10,000m, cross country)
Born 10 October, 1986, Meguarra Village, Trans Mara District
Height: 168 cm (5' 6"); weight: 53kg
Team: Nissin Shokuhin
Manager: Gianni Demadonna
His name means the Lion in his Maasai tribe and, over the last two years, Gideon Lekumok Ngatuny has shown the strength and bravado of the king of the jungle in rising to the top of cross country running in Kenya.
The 21-year-old's second place finish in the 2007 National Cross Country Championships was followed by second place at the trials for the World Cross Country Championships in Mombasa. These results, as well as his fourth place in the World Cross in Mombasa and his commanding win in this year's Trials/Championships, have put Ngatuny firmly on the map and he is making good early progress towards emulating his hero, and former cross country great, Paul Tergat.
"I saw him (Tergat) winning World Cross Country in the 90s and I decided that I wanted to be like him,” Ngatuny said. Husband to Everline Kimwei, and training in Japan and Kisii, he has no doubts over who he wants to emulate. "I want to have a career just like Tergat's as he has been consistent and has represented Kenya so many times on the global stage," Ngatuny said.
"He is brave and very courageous. He does not fear anything and is raring to go," says coach Julius Kirwa in the build-up to the 2008 World Cross Country Championships, in Edinburgh. The Tokyo-based athlete, who runs for the Nissin Shokuhin Jitsugyodan team, was the second-born in a family of 11 siblings (eight boys, three girls).
He attended Meguarra Primary School before joining Nyota Secondary but dropped out in form three due to lack of school fees. Ngatuny started running while in the final year of his primary school, participating in a variety of races from 1500m to 10,000m. "I used to run for fun and won several races for my school," he recalled.
Training mostly at Gusii Stadium in Kisii, he finished 48th in the junior race at the 2003 National Cross Country Championships but, later in the year, he was eighth at an Athletics Kenya Cross Country meeting in Mosocho. The youngster found the going tough in the 2004 and 2005, reaching only the South Nyanza finals but failing to make it to the nationals in both years.
Ngatuny started the 2005-2006 season ever so determined and, after repeated unsuccessful attempts at featuring in the national cross country team, he finally made the breakthrough in 2006. Or so it seemed.
At the National Championships held in February, Ngatuny finished fourth in the junior 8km race and, at the National Trials, at Ngong Racecourse the following month, he was sixth. This earned him a call-up to the provisional tam for the World Cross Country Championships in Fukuoka, Japan.
However, Ngatuny’s joy was shortlived, after it was discovered that he was three months above the official dates for juniors and was subsequently dropped. But there was a silver lining as a Japanese scout had spotted Ngatuny and he was invited for trials in the Far East country. Thus, when the national team left for Japan, he accompanied it but for different reason.
Once in Japan, he successfully negotiated the trials and joined Nissin team. In April, he made his debut on Japanese soil, winning the Yokohama meet 5,000m in 13:32.86. The following month he improved to 13:29.75 to clinch his second victory, in Fukuroi. Next up was the Hokuren meet in Abashiri, where he won the 3,000m in 7:56.48.
In November, Ngatuny helped Kenya to retain the men's Chiba International Ekiden title. Running the 10km second stage, he increased the Kenyans’ lead by two minutes in an explosive show of front running, covering the distance in an astonishing 26:51.
Ngatuny returned home for the 2007 cross country season, winning the South Rift Provincial Championships 12km senior men's crown in February. Later in the month, he was runner-up to Richard Matelong at the National Cross Country Championships, in Mombasa, a dress rehearsal for the World event set for the same course a little over a month later.
At the Kenyan trials, which are the toughest in the world, Ngatuny fought gallantly to again scoop the runner-up position and make the Kenya team for the first time in his nascent career. After a month-long training camp, Ngatuny led Kenya's charge for the top honours in the senior men's race in front of a frenzied home crowd. He did most of the early running, until eventual winner, Zersenay Tadese from Eritrea, and defending champion, Kenenisa Bekele from Ethiopia, broke away with two laps to go.
The early running had had its effects on Ngatuny in the heat but he soldiered on to fourth place, helping Kenya to retain the team title.
Once back in Japan, Ngatuny defended his 5000m crown in Yokohama in April, clocking 13:13.06. The following week, he finished second over 10,000m (27:11.36) behind Martin Mathathi at Kobe's Hyogo meeting. In May, Ngatuny won the 10,000m (27:14.02) at Kumagaya, beating former world champion, Charles Kamathi.
Later in the month, Nagtuny was back in Yokohama where he again won the 5,000m (13:12.62) He took a three-month break before coming back during the Gifu meeting in September, where he finished second behind Josephat Ndambiri in the 10,000m (27:35.34). One month later, he won his second 5,000m race in Yokohama in a year (13:25.37)
Ngatuny began 2008 by winning the Kenya Prisons Cross Country Championships, where he was a guest runner, on 8 February. The lanky athlete set the early pace dropping his only serious challenger Thomas Longosiwa. Afterwards, he stated his desire to take on the big boys in Edinburgh. "I am in good shape and hoping for a better season than last year,” he said. “I will certainly be on the team to Edinburgh and I can assure Bekele and Tadesse that they must prepare well to beat me."
Next up was the National Cross Country championships, which doubled as the trials. Ngatuny sat in the leading pack with top athletes Hosea Macharinyang, Moses Masai, Augustine Choge and Joseph Ebuya. He moved to the front at the bell and went on to outsprint Mark Kiptoo in a thrilling battle for victory.
Speaking in Embu, where the team has been training, Ngatuny was quietly confident that he would do well in Edinburgh. “We are training hard and this time I will know what to expect, unlike last year when it was my first time and I was inexperienced at that level,” he said. “God willing we shall succeed."
5000m: 13:12.62 (2007)
10,000m: 27:11.36 (2007)
5,000m: 2006 - 13:15.9; 2007 - 13:12.62
10,000m: 2006 - 27:28.42; 2007 - 27:11.36
2007 4th, World Cross Country Championships
2008 1st, Kenya National Cross Country
Prepared by James Wokabi and Mutwiri Mutuota for the IAAF ‘Focus on Athletes’ project. Copyright IAAF 2008