Caleb Ndiku of Kenya crosses the line in 3:37.30 to win the men's 1500m (Getty Images) © Copyright
Caleb Mwangangi NDIKU (1500m/Cross Country)
Born: 9 October 1992, Mango village, Mwala District, Eastern Province
Coach: Paul Mutwii
Club: Nissin Foods Athletics Club, Japan
Second-last born in a family of ten (three sisters and seven brothers)
Attended Mango Primary and Secondary schools
With a former Javelin thrower, David Ndiku as a father, Mwangangi was initiated to the sport in his formative years.
He, however, chose to digress from his elder’s career path in the sport to take up running the Classic Mile on the track and cross country off it, and already, he is making inroads on the international circuit.
In March this year, global attention was fixed on the lanky, confident and friendly athlete when he powered away from the rest of the field to soar to World Cross Country gold in the junior race in Bydgoszcz, Poland in a polished display of front running.
“Javelin throwing’s loss is distance running’s gain because Caleb Ndiku chose not to follow in his father’s David’s career as a thrower,” the IAAF report on the 2010 World Cross junior 8km race began.
“I tried when I was very young but it was hard for me.” How far did he throw? “I cannot tell because I had nobody to coach me and ended up thinking that was no good for me, so I decided to run,” he explained to IAAF then.
He had earned himself a place on the team for the World Cross with a third place finish in the junior race at the 20 February Kenya National Cross Country Championships.
As he aims to ignite the men’s 1500m race in Canada during the 2010 World Juniors, Ndiku reflected on his biggest moment thus far in his career in Bydgoszcz and looked forward to similar tidings in Moncton.
“It was challenging, it was so challenging in Poland. I tried my level best, God was with me, and I hope will still be with me in future. When I returned home from Poland, we had a big ceremony with my family that went on for two days and when time came for me to leave for Japan, there were all there at the airport to bid me farewell.
“I hope the same happens when I return from Canada since my appetite to be known as a World champion increased in Poland.”
Ndiku signed up with Japanese corporate team Nissin Foods Athletics Club on April 15, and promptly won two races for them in Yokohama (3:38.71SB, on 1 May) and Osaka Grand Prix (3:39.53 on 8 May).
Last year, Ndiku had clocked his 1,500m PB of 3:38.2 to earn a place in Kenya’s team for the Bressanone World Youths after finishing third in the combined African Junior/World Youth Trials on 16 June.
At the global under 18 event in Italy, he had gone on to race 3:38.42 for silver behind compatriot Gideon Kiage Mageka before returning home to embark on the domestic 2009/2010 cross-country series.
His mother is a small-scale businesswoman and he is the only runner in the family.
1500 Metres: 3:38.2 (2009)
1500m: 2009: 3:38.2; 2010: 3:38.71
2009 2nd World Youth Championships (1,500m)
2010 1st World Cross Country Championships (junior race)
Prepared by James Wokabi and Mutwiri Mutuota for the IAAF ‘Focus on Athletes’ project. Copyright IAAF 2008-2010