Catch him if you can

Tuesday, August 9th, 2022 06:23 | By
Wycliffe Kinyamal
Wycliffe Kinyamal in action. PHOTO/Courtesy.

Two time Commonwealth Games gold medalist Wycliffe Kinyamal says family plays a big part in an athlete’s life.

That is why he choose to dedicate his 800m gold medal feat to his four-year old son after successfully defending his title at the Alexander Stadium on Sunday night.

“I do pretty everything for him, he is my source of inspiration that is why I have to be a role model in everything I do,” said Kinyamal.

Born the fifth born in a family of six children, Kinyamal’s father and three brothers share a passion for football, but the middle-distance star has no interest in kicking a ball. Instead, he started his sporting journey as a promising high jumper in primary school.

Boasting a personal best of “around 2.00m” he finished in the top five in Kenyan national age-group championships before a comment from a friend in late-2015, that running could improve his high jump. That comment was to radically change the whole direction of his athletics career.

At the time while based in Keringet, he took up running and rapidly discovered a worthy talent. After just a few months of training he made his 800m debut, running 1:49 to win in Bondo in February 2016. Two months later he struck gold at the East African Regional Junior Championships in Tanzania – a victory which crystallised a belief his future may lie as a middle-distance runner.

Clearly boasting a special talent, he was picked up by the athletics management agency Global Sports Communication and in early 2017 Kinyamal moved from Keringet to Kaptagat to come under the influence of leading Kenyan Patrick Sang – a switch which has accelerated his meteoric development.

So at the 2018 Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast, Kinyamal beat the then defending champion Nijel Amos to rack up his first major gold medal.

This was incidentally Kenya’s first gold medal of the 2018 edition of the Club Games where his compatriots were yet to bag any of the long and middle distance medals.

Four years later, this time in Birmingham, Kinyamal, who finished 8th at the Oregon World Athletics Championships, eclipsed Peter Bol from Australia and Ben Patterson from England to an exhilarating podium dash.

Now the Kenyan athlete believes he still has the potential to seal the hat-trick of wins at the 2026 Commonwealth Games scheduled for Australia, Victoria.

 “I tried to control the race so that I could conserve a bit more energy to push me forward. The Birmingham gold means a lot to me, such a great feeling.”

“As you may all be aware, defending a title is not an easy thing but I thank God for defending it after the Oregon debacle. I wasn’t in low spirits in any way after Oregon where I came 8th.”

“In fact, I put my Oregon woes behind me and immediately started focusing on my Commonwealth defense which came to fruition. I will now be attempting the rare hat-trick in 2026 God Willing.”

Kinyamal will be 29 years old when the Club Games takes place and he believes the hat-trick is possible with heavy training, discipline and level-headedness.

More on Sports