Hours after he claimed bronze in the men’s 3,000-meter steeplechase, Kenya’s Ezekiel Kemboi was disqualified after Mahiedine Mekhissi Benabbad of France filed a formal complaint.
Kemboi who showed up with a new hair style before the race, saw his disqualification rob him and Kenya of a bronze medal, as fourth-placed Mekhissi Benabbad moved to third position, even though Kemboi maintained a considerable distance ahead of him.
Mekhissi Benabbad’s filed a post-race appeal claiming that Kemboi committed a lane violation which was as approved by the sports governing body International Association of Athletics Federation, saying that Kemboi was culpable of an ‘Infringement of the inside border.’
Mekhissi Benabbad was clearly disappointed after the race saying that Kemboi ‘cut a turn short.’ “When one makes the race shorter than it’s supposed to be, this ceases to be the 3,000-meter steeplechase, rules are rules” he said.
While the IAAF found that Kemboi had committed a violation, it is unclear what impact, if any, it will have later.
Ezekiel Kemboi already has his place in the history books of the 3000m steeplechase sealed after winning at the 2012 London Olympics, 2004, 2009, 2011, 2013, 2015 world championships, and he is also the sixth fastest steeplechaser on the track. Kemboi, who retired after the race, finished with a time of 8:08.47, three seconds faster than Mekhissi Benabbad’s fourth-place time.
It was, however, joy for Conseslus Kipruto, who clocked an Olympic record of 8:03.28 to take gold. The USA’s Evan Jager won silver, becoming the first American male to medal in the event since the 1984 Los Angeles Games.