Updated 1 May 2008
Geoffrey Kipkoech RONO, Kenya (800m/1500m)
Born 21 April,1987, Chemaan Village, Konoin division, Bureti District.
Height: 168cm (5' 6"); weight: 63kg
Manager: Jos Hermens
Camp: Global Sports
The third born in a family of eight, Geoffrey Kipkoech Rono is the pioneer athlete in his family and has two siblings, Charles and Ronald Rono, who run 800m.
Rono attended Ngererit Primary School in Bureti. Though he used to run, it was never serious and he never made it past provincial level. It was at Kiptewit High School that he really focused on his athletics career. Rono had started with sprints when he was in primary school but decided to switch to longer distances. “I started with sprints but realised it was so hard to get a breakthrough so I opted for longer distances,” he said.
In 2003 he made the finals in Heptathlon at the National Secondary Schools Games. The following year he made the nationals again, this time finishing runner-up at 800 and 1500m. Rono got his breakthrough in 2005 when he was selected to represent the country at African Junior Championships in Tunisia.
First up was the 1500m where Rono edged out his compatriot Remi Limo to win gold in 3:42.76, less than two seconds ahead of Limo. One down, another to go. In the 800m, Rono lined up against Limo again and, for the second consecutive final, relegated his countryman to silver, winning in 1:47.10.
In 2006, at the World Junior Championships, in Beijing, Rono won his heat to set up another compelling duel with Limo in the 1500m final. There Rono had to follow team tactics and came in fourth as Limo finally triumphed. In August, Rono registered a DNF at Van Damme Memorial but, two days later, finished fifth in Rieti in an outdoor personal best 3:34.60.
After that he returned to Kenya where he completed his secondary school education. Rono completed the year with a revenge win over his nemesis on December 3 at the Association of National Olympic Committees for Africa Zone Five Junior Championships in Nairobi. Rono outkicked the World Junior champion to earn his measure of revenge. "In Beijing the coaches asked me to assist Limo but today I wanted to see who is the better runner," said Rono.
In the 2007 National Championships, Rono had to settle for second as Asbel Kiprop scorched the rest of the field. He timed of 3:43.3 and was selected to represent Kenya at the All Africa Games in Algiers. He ran just one race- an 11th place finish in Paris in 3:38.90 - before heading to Algiers.
Rono found the going tough in the Northern Africa country as intense heat and bad food derailed him. Although he reached the final, Rono could only manage seventh place as Kiprop won gold. In September Rono was second in an 800m in Rovereto in a PB 1:46.92 and, two days later, he came fourth in 1500m race at the Van Damme memorial Grand prix in Brussels in 3:35.72.
At the national trials for Addis Ababa on 19 April, Rono finished second behind Gideon Gathimba to book a place in the Kenyan team for the continental event. Of the two races that he runs, Rono says he enjoys the1500m more. “My role model is Noah Ngeny (2000 Olympic champion) so I enjoy it more than 800m”
Rono has used his earnings wisely and currently owns several commercial plots in Kericho that supplement his income from his good legs. Enlisted to Kenya Police in June 2007, Rono passed out on 18 March as a constable. Having done so well as a junior, Rono says he is looking forward to establishing himself as a senior. “Last year was the first year as a senior and I am hopeful that I can do well when competing with the big boys,” he said.
800m: 1:46.92 (2007)
1500m: 3:34.60 (2006)
800m: 2005 - 1:47.10; 2007 - 1:46.92
1500m: 2005 - 3:40.7; 2006 - 3:34.60, 2007 – 3:35.72, 2008 - 3:39.64
2005 1st Africa Junior championships (800m)
1st Africa Junior championships (1500m)
2006 4th World Junior Championships (1500m)
2007 7th All Africa Games (1500m)
Prepared by James Wokabi and Mutwiri Mutuota for the IAAF ‘Focus on Athletes’ project. Copyright IAAF 2008