Amos Biwott

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Amos Biwott
Medal record
Representing  Kenya
Men's athletics
Summer Olympics
Gold 1968 Mexico City 3000 m steeplechase

Amos Biwott (born September 8, 1947) is a former Kenyan long-distance runner, winner of the 3000 m steeplechase at the 1968 Summer Olympics.

Born in Nandi, Kenya, Amos Biwott was the first of long line of Kenyan runners who had starred the 3000 m steeplechase ever since Biwott's surprising win at the Mexico City Olympics and pioneered the black Africa's dominance at the long-distance running.

Biwott hadn’t run many steeplechase races before the Olympics, only three of them, and his technique was not the best, using a then comically rustic hurdling style. He was the first man to have the courage not to place one foot on the barrier and spring off, but cleared the whole obstacle in one gigantic effort and, in so doing, reduced the customary clearance time of 1.1 seconds by half. He was the only runner who made it across the finish line with completely dry feet in both the Olympic qualifying heat and the final, which he won by 0.6 seconds ahead of compatriot Benjamin Kogo.

After this golden moment, Biwott's athletics career went slowly downward. He finished third at the 1970 Commonwealth Games, was sixth at the 1972 Summer Olympics and finished his career with an eighth place at the 1974 Commonwealth Games.

After his athletics career, Biwott worked the Kenya Prisons Service until his ignominious departure in 1978 when he was prosecuted for theft. After that he was a watchman at the stadium.

He is married to Cherono Maiyo, who competed at the 1972 Summer Olympics and was one of the first Kenyan females to participate at the olympics. They married in 1973 and have five children.

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