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The Athletics Illustrated Person of the Week honours for the week of August 10, 2020, goes to Kenyan Ben Jipcho (RIP). Jipcho was a pioneer for Kenya. His exploits paved the way for the famous Kip Keino, which motivated a generation of Kenyan athletes to take up running competitively.

Rendering of Ben Jipcho racing the 3,000m steeplechase

Jipcho  (1 March 1943 – 24 July 2020) passed away on Friday, July 24. Jipcho, earned a silver medal during the 1972 Olympics in the 3000m steeplechase.

The former world record holder was 77.

Jipcho started running competitively during the 1960s. He turned heads during the 1968 Mexico Olympic 1500m final. Jipcho set out on a world record pace, running the first lap in 56 seconds to pace Kip Keino through 800m in 1:55.3, the effort allowed teammate Keino to win gold in the time of 3:34.91, which turned out to be an Olympic record.

Jipcho won the silver medal at the 1972 Munich Olympics. He again paced Keino, but in the 3000msc. Keino won in a new Olympic record time. Finn Tapio Kantanen finished third.

He also won the 5,000m gold at the 1973 All-Africa Games and silver in the steeplechase at the 1970 Commonwealth Games.

During the 1974 Commonwealth Games in Christchurch, New Zealand, he raced race to victory in the 5,000m and 3000msc. He also earned bronze in the 1500m.

The Athletics Illustrated Person of the Week recognition is an endeavor that aims to recognise noteworthy or newsworthy achievements, actions or events in the sport of athletics by individuals who are involved or have affected the sport in some way.

The weekly decision will be the discretion of Athletics Illustrated, however, input from readers is welcome.

At the end of each year, the Person of the Week honours will be reviewed and featured along with a Person of the Year recognition taken from the list of weekly honours.

If you feel someone should be recognised, please register, login, and provide the person’s name and reason.