In Summary
  • Kenya’s athletics fraternity thrown into mourning
  • Rono also twice set the world record for the 5000 meters, first in 1978 and then again in 1981.
  • Rono, who was 72 at the time of his death, had been admitted to Nairobi South Hospital

Kenyan track legend Henry Rono, famed for setting four world records, has passed away at 72 in Nairobi, leaving a lasting legacy.

Rono, who was 72 at the time of his death, had been admitted to Nairobi South Hospital for the past ten days.

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Henry Rono during a training run in Snake River Canyon, USA (© Allsport / Getty Images)


“Athletics Kenya is saddened to announce and notify the public of the demise of former Athlete Mr. Henry Rono which occurred today at 10.30am,”  a statement from AK read

Henry Rono Was a Kenyan retired track and field athlete who specialized in various long distance running events.

He is remembered  as the former record holder  for the 3000 metres steeplechase for over a decade.

Rono also set the record for the 5000 metres twice  once in 1978,then again in 1981.

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Henry Rono competes in the 3000m steeplechase at the 1978 Commonwealth Games in Edmonton (© Getty Images)


His tenure at Washington State University was historic, as he became only the third person, after Gerry Lindgren and Steve Prefontaine, to win the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Men’s Cross Country Championship three times, in 1976, 1977, and 1979.

Ronos’s Journey

A bicycle accident left him unable to walk until he was six. His father died in a tractor accident around the same time and his mother struggled to scrape together the fees to educate Henry.

He was in and out of school for years.

Henry Rono at the World Athletics Gala in 2008 (© AFP / Getty Images)


Inspired to take up running by Kip Keino’s 1500m victory at the 1968 Olympic Games in Mexico, Rono’s talent blossomed when he was recruited by the Kenyan army.


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