Alex KIPCHIRCHIR

Athlete Profile

  • COUNTRY
    Kenya Kenya
  • DATE OF BIRTH
    26 NOV 1984
    ATHLETE'S IAAF CODE
    189920
Alex Kipchirchir wins the World Athletics Final at 1500m (Getty Images)

Outdoor

Discipline Performance Wind Place Date Records
800 Metres 1:45.0h Kasarani (KEN) 01 JUL 2006
1000 Metres 2:16.94 New York, NY (USA) 11 JUN 2005
1500 Metres 3:30.46 Bruxelles (BEL) 03 SEP 2004
One Mile 3:50.25 Rieti (ITA) 07 SEP 2003
Distance Medley Relay 9:24.97 Philadelphia, PA (USA) 24 APR 2010

Legend

* Not legal.

Indoor

Discipline Performance Wind Place Date Records
800 Metres 1:48.91 Gainesville, FL (USA) 17 JAN 2004
1000 Metres 2:21.26 Boston, MA (USA) 31 JAN 2004
One Mile 4:03.80 Fayetteville, AR (USA) 14 FEB 2004

Legend

* Not legal.

Latest Active Season: 2012

Outdoor

Discipline Performance Wind Place Date Records
800 Metres 1:50.5h Nairobi (KEN) 18 MAY 2012

Outdoor

800 Metres

Performance Place Date
2010 1:49.56 Torino (ITA) 12 JUN 2010
2008 1:46.29 Nairobi (KEN) 04 JUL 2008
2007 1:45.55 Doha (QAT) 11 MAY 2007
2006 1:45.88 Melbourne (AUS) 23 MAR 2006
2005 1:45.54 Oslo (NOR) 29 JUL 2005
2003 1:45.93 Lausanne (SUI) 01 JUL 2003
2002 1:45.74 Helsinki (FIN) 13 AUG 2002

Outdoor

1000 Metres

Performance Place Date
2005 2:16.94 New York, NY (USA) 11 JUN 2005

Outdoor

1500 Metres

Performance Place Date
2010 3:39.22 Shanghai (CHN) 23 MAY 2010
2008 3:32.16 Berlin (GER) 01 JUN 2008
2007 3:31.58 Roma (ITA) 13 JUL 2007
2006 3:31.36 Paris (FRA) 08 JUL 2006
2005 3:30.82 Paris (FRA) 01 JUL 2005
2004 3:30.46 Bruxelles (BEL) 03 SEP 2004
2003 3:31.42 Bruxelles (BEL) 05 SEP 2003
2002 3:32.95 Zürich (SUI) 16 AUG 2002

Outdoor

One Mile

Performance Place Date
2011 4:06.00 Philadelphia, PA (USA) 30 APR 2011
2008 3:57.43 Eugene, OR (USA) 08 JUN 2008
2007 3:52.10 Eugene, OR (USA) 10 JUN 2007
2006 3:50.32 Oslo (NOR) 02 JUN 2006
2005 3:50.91 Eugene, OR (USA) 04 JUN 2005
2003 3:50.25 Rieti (ITA) 07 SEP 2003

Outdoor

Distance Medley Relay

Performance Place Date
2010 9:24.97 Philadelphia, PA (USA) 24 APR 2010

Indoor

800 Metres

Performance Place Date
2003/04 1:48.91 Gainesville, FL (USA) 17 JAN 2004

Indoor

1000 Metres

Performance Place Date
2003/04 2:21.26 Boston, MA (USA) 31 JAN 2004

Indoor

One Mile

Performance Place Date
2003/04 4:03.80 Fayetteville, AR (USA) 14 FEB 2004

Honours - World Championships

Place Discipline Mark Wind Place Date
7. 1500 Metres 3:40.43 Helsinki (FIN) 10 AUG 2005

Honours - World (Continental) Cup

Place Discipline Mark Wind Place Date
1. 1500 Metres 3:52.60 Athina (GRE) 16 SEP 2006

Honours - World U20 Championships

Place Discipline Mark Wind Place Date
1. 800 Metres 1:46.59 Kingston (JAM) 19 JUL 2002

Honours - African Championships

Place Discipline Mark Wind Place Date
1. 1500 Metres 3:46.54 Bambous (MRI) 13 AUG 2006
1. 800 Metres 1:46.62 Bambous (MRI) 11 AUG 2006

Honours - World Athletics Final

Place Discipline Mark Wind Place Date
1. 1500 Metres 3:32.76 Stuttgart (GER) 10 SEP 2006
2. 1500 Metres 3:44.95 Monaco (MON) 19 SEP 2004
2. 1500 Metres 3:40.21 Monaco (MON) 14 SEP 2003
3. 1500 Metres 3:33.71 Monaco (MON) 10 SEP 2005

Honours - Golden League

Place Discipline Mark Wind Place Date
1. One Mile 3:50.32 Oslo (NOR) 02 JUN 2006

Honours - Commonwealth Games

Place Discipline Mark Wind Place Date
1. 800 Metres 1:45.88 Melbourne (AUS) 23 MAR 2006
Results in:

800 Metres

Date Competition Cnt. Cat Race Pl. Result
18 MAY 2012 Nairobi Kenya Police Ch. KENKEN F F 7. 1:50.5h


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(Updated 15 September 2006)

Alex KIPCHIRCHIR, Kenya (800/1500/mile)

Born 26 November, 1984, Sergoit (near Eldoret), Uasin Gishu district, Rift Valley Province, Kenya

Lives near Eldoret and based partly in Portland, Oregon.

Manager: Federico Rosa. Coach: David Leting, John Cook.

Oldest of four children. Father a farmer, mother a businesswoman selling beans, maize. Native language Keiyo (a Kalenjin language).

After completing elementary school in Eldoret 20 km away from his home, Alex Kipchirchir began running and excelling at it while a boarding student at Litein High School in the Kericho district, but he also played hockey and basketball and hoped to pursue soccer, in which he represented his village at the district level and his school all the way to the national level. Unable to afford continuing his education, he turned to running in 2001.

He was introduced by a soccer acquaintance to two-time Boston marathon champion Moses Tanui and joined him in a training camp where he trained in 2002, making the 800m national team for the World Junior Championships in Kingston, Jamaica. Despite stumbling on the final turn, he won a tight race in 1:46.59 over Salem Al-Badri of Qatar (1:46.63) and Luxembourg's David Fiegen (1:46.66).

Having joined Italian manager Federico Rosa’s group of athletes, Kipchirchir raced frequently beginning in Italy and continuing on to Golden League races in Europe, including the Zurich 1500m “B” race in a personal best 3:32.95.

He placed fourth over 1500m behind Paul Korir, Isaac Songok and Bernard Lagat in the 2003 Kenyan trials for the World Championships. Running against Morocco’s World champion Hicham El Guerrouj took Kipchirchir to new heights over the next couple of years, beginning with new PBs he clocked in Zurich (3:32.35) and Brussels (3:31.42) and a World junior record 3:50.25  for the mile in Rieti, where he gave the Moroccan (who won in 3:50.20) a real run for his money.

In 2004, Kipchirchir ran indoors in the U.S., including winning in what are still his indoor PBs, 1:48.91 for 800m in Gainesville, and 4:03.80 for the mile in Fayetteville. He then gave El Guerrouj one of his tightest finishes when he stayed on his heels throughout the outdoor 1500m in Zaragoza, Spain on 9 June and ran 3:36.49 to the Moroccan’s 3:36.46.

Kipchirchir lowered his PB in Brussels again, to 3:30.42, placing third behind Timothy Kiptanui and Ivan Heshko and beating Olympic medalists Lagat and Rui Silva of Portugal. He was fourth at the Olympic trials behind Songok, Lagat and Kiptanui, but won in Rieti and placed second at the World Athletics Final 1500m for the second year in a row (behind Paul Korir in 2003, and Ivan Heshko in 2004).

Kipchirchir began to come into his own in 2005, winning the 800m in windy conditions in Hengelo and in a PB 1:45.54 in Oslo. He also set new PBs while winning at the Prefontaine Classic mile (3:50.91) in a fast finish ahead of (now American) Lagat and Bahrain’s Rashid Ramzi; and the Reebok 1000m in New York (2:16.94). He placed third over 1500m behind Daniel Kipchirchir Komen and Paul Korir at the World Championships trials to make the Helsinki team (where he was 7th in 3:40.43).

But the biggest breakthroughs came in 2006. He won the Commonwealth Games 800m in a season best 1:45.88 (apart from a 1:45.0 at altitude reported at the Kenyan championships in Nairobi 1 July). He swept the 800/1500 at the African Championships, prevailing in a dramatic photo finish over 800m, and holding off World silver medalist Adil Kaouch of Morocco in the 1500m to represent the continent at the Athens World Cup in the longer event.

Kipchirchir also showed his talent on the meetings circuit, winning the opening leg of the Golden League at 800m in Oslo, and was second in Paris (to Heshko in a season best 3:31.36), Zurich and Brussels, in a series in which only Kenya’s Augustine Choge emerged a repeat winner. But Kipchirchir sent a signal at the World Athletics Final on 10 September, when he outkicked Lagat to win in a meet record 3:32.76, with Choge third.

In Athens, Heshko looks to be Kipchirchir’s primary challenger as the Kenyan, ranked N.1 over 1500m in the IAAF World Rankings, makes his first serious bid for a senior global title.


Yearly Progression 800/1500/mile: 2002 – 1:45.5A/ 3:32.95/ - ; 2003 – 1:45.93/ 3:31.42/ 3:50.25 (WJR); 2004 – 1:48.91i/ 3:30.46/ - ; 2005 – 1:45.54/3:30.82/ 3:50.91; 2006 – 1:45.88 (1:45.0A Kenyan Championships, Nairobi)/ / 3:31.36/ 3:50.32.


Career Highlights

2006 World Athletics Final  1st 1500m
2006 African Championships  1st 800m/1500m
2006 Commonwealth Games  1st 800m
2005 World Athletics Final  3rd 1500m
2005 World Championships  7th 1500m
2004 World Athletics Final  2nd 1500m
2003 World Athletics Final  2nd 1500m
2002 World Junior Championships 1st 800m


Prepared by Sabrina Yohannes for the IAAF "Focus on Athletes" project. © 2006 IAAF.

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