Updated 23 August 2007
Brimin KIPRUTO, Kenya (3000m Steeplechase)
Born 31 July 1985, Korkitony, near Chebiemit, Marakwet Dist., Rift Valley Province, Kenya
Lives mainly in Korkitony, trains with Global Sports group in Kaptagat, near Eldoret.
1.76m/ 54 kg. Native language Marakwet (Kalenjin).Third of 10 children, parents farmers.
Manager: Global Sports Communications. Coaches: Patrick Sang, Joseph Chelimo.
Completed Kipsoen Secondary School 2003.
Brimin Kipruto’s given name is actually Firmin, but it was mistakenly transcribed by a clerk in 2001 when he was applying for a birth certificate so as to secure his first passport. He has been identified officially as “Brimin” ever since. “I saw it was entered in the computer,” he says, “so I thought I had to stay with what they wrote.”
Kipruto began running in primary school with great success. In his final year (1999) he reached the national primary school championships in both 1500m and Steeplechase and, for four years in secondary school, he reached nationals each year in both events, winning 1500 twice and the Steeplechase three times. From 1999 to 2003, he was a regular participant in the school holiday youth training camp run by Br. Colm O’Connell at St. Patrick’s High School, Iten.
Named to Kenya team for 2001 World Youth Championships in Debrecen, Hungary, Kipruto finished 2nd to teammate David Kirwa in 2000m Steeplechase (5:36.81). In his second competition outside Kenya, the 2003 African Junior Championships, Cameroon, he placed 2nd again, this time in 3000m Steeplechase (8:46.74).
Kipruto joined Global Sports group upon completion of school in December 2003, and had his first taste of the European Grand Prix circuit the following May. He won a low-key 1500 (3:37.97) in Nijmegen and, nine days later, blazed to a 28-second PB (8:05.52) to win the Steeplechase at the Hengelo GP, defeating, among others, Olympic teammate Paul Kipsielei Koech (8:05.92) and Athens rival Ali Ezzine (8:19.93).
Finishing a surprising 2nd to World Championship silver medalist Ezekiel Kemboi in Kenya’s murderous 2004 Olympic trials (8:17.1 at 1700 metres above sea level), Kipruto guaranteed himself a place in the team for Athens. He was then also selected for Kenya’s team for the World Junior Championships but chose to compete at 1500 metres instead of Steeplechase in Grosseto. The choice may have been unfortunate, as Kipruto had to settle for a bronze after pushing a brutal pace (sub-1:53 at 800m). He did, however, record a PB 3:35.96, and may have learned a valuable lesson about pace judgment.
In Athens he was part of a Kenyan sweep as Kipruto and his teammates, Ezekiel Kemboi and Koech, began pushing the pace at the start of the second lap and dropped all but former compatriot Moses Kipchirchir (now Moussa Omar Obaid of Qatar). Kipruto collected silver (8:06.11) behind Kemboi’s 8:05.81, with Koech third. Ten days later in Brussels, he followed Kenyan/Qatari Saif Saeed Shaheen’s world record pace (7:53.63) as the former Stephen Cherono brooked no competition in his effort to make up for missing the Olympics (a result of his nationality switch). Kipruto wound up 5th in 8:05.89. He wrapped up his season with a disappointing 6th (8:16.45) behind Shaheen and his Olympic teammates at the World Athletics Final.
Kipruto began 2005 with a casual attempt at cross country and wound up 3rd in the 4 km race at Kenya’s brutally competitive World Cross trials. In St. Etienne, at the World Championships, he fell out of contention early and finished 37th. He had better luck on the track, reaching the podium in four major Grand Prix races and the World Athletics Final, notching a PB of 8:04.22 in Rome and collecting his second senior global level medal, a bronze in the World Championships in Helsinki. As in 2004, he had crossed the line directly behind teammate Kemboi in the Kenyan trials and the Championships, but in Helsinki Shaheen finished first.
Kipruto took another stab at cross country in 2006, taking 2nd in Italy’s Cinque Mulini, making Kenya’s World Cross team for the second time and improving to 18th in 4 km at Fukuoka. Back on the track, he ran three 1500s and a flat 3000 in addition to five Steeplechases on the Grand Prix circuit, with a 1500 PB (3:35.23) in winning the B race in Stockholm being the highlight of an otherwise lackluster season.
In 2007 Kipruto ran indoors for the first time—three European races, most notably a 4:58.76 for 2000m in Birmingham behind Kenenisa Bekele’s world record 4:49.99. Outdoors he recorded a solid 8:06.98 in Athens for 3rd behind Osaka teammates Kemboi and Richard Matelong, and he finished in his accustomed 2nd place behind Kemboi in the Kenyan World Championships trials.
2001 - 5:36.81 (2000m); 2002 - 8:33.0; 2003 - 8:34.5; 2004 - 8:05.52; 2005 – 8:04.22; 2006 – 8:08.32; 2007 – 8:06.98.
1500m: 3:35.23 (2006)
3000m Steeplechase: 8:04.22 (2005)
2004 – 3rd, World Junior Championships, Grosseto (1500m)
2004 – 2nd, Olympic Games, Athens
2005 – 37th, World Cross Country Championships, St Etienne (4k)
2005 – 3rd, World Championships, Helsinki
2006 – 18th, World Cross Country Championships, Fukuoka (4k)
Prepared by John Manners for the IAAF "Focus on Athletes" project. © 2004-07 IAAF.