Janeth Jepkosgei

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Janeth Jepkosgei
Janeth Jepkosgei 2010 Memorial Van damme.jpg
Jepkosgei at the 2010 Memorial Van Damme.
Personal information
Birth nameJaneth Jepkosgei Busienei
Nationality Kenya
Born (1983-12-13) 13 December 1983 (age 36)
Kabirirsang, Kenya
SportTrack and field
Event(s)800 metres

Janeth Jepkosgei Busienei (born 13 December 1983) is a Kenyan middle distance runner and former world champion.

Early career[edit]

Janeth, nicknamed "Eldoret Express" is from Kabirirsang, near Kapsabet. Famous athletes Wilson Kipketer and Wilfred Bungei are also from the same village.[1] She started athletics while at Kapsumbeiywo Primary School and took several events. Since 1998 she attended Sing'ore Girls High School near Iten, famous for producing Kenyan women athletes. She won national secondary school championship in heptathlon, while still at form one.[2] Her record from that event still stood in 2012.[2] Her speciality at the time was actually 400 m hurdles. She attended the Kenyan trials for 1999 World Youth Championships, but as 400 m hurdles was not competed at the trials, she opted to take part in 800 m.[2] She finished second and was selected for the Kenyan team, but failed to reach the final of 800 m competition in World Youth Championships held in Bydgoszcz, Poland.[3]

In 2000 Jepkosgei won two gold medals at national secondary school championships, the events were 400 m hurdles and 800 m. At the East Africa Youth Championships held in the same year she won 400 m hurdles, while at 800 m she finished second.[2]

She joined IOC-sponsored High Performance Training Centre in Eldoret in 2001. She was then coached by 1988 olympic gold medalist Paul Ereng.[4] The same year, she took 800 m silver medal at the African Junior Championships, and the next year she took 800 m gold medal at the World Junior Championships in Kingston, Jamaica.[3]

Janeth Jepkosgei took part at the 2003 All-Africa Games, but failed to reach the 800 m final. In 2004, she won Kenyan Olympic trials at 800 m, but was not selected since she failed to beat qualifying time. The history repeated itself in 2005, when she won 800 m at national trials, but did not secure an "A"-qualifying time. She did beat the "B"-qualifying time, but Athletics Kenya did not send her or any other Kenyan 800 m female runner to represent Kenya at the world championships.[3]

Reaching global top[edit]

Her breakthrough year was 2006. On 24 March 2006 she won the women's 800 m event at the 2006 Commonwealth Games with a time of 1 minute, 57.88 seconds. She managed to beat veteran runner Maria de Lurdes Mutola of Mozambique. Later same year she won African Championships in Athletics at the 800 m event. She also beat Kenyan 800 m women's record twice. Jepkosgei was awarded the 2006 Kenyan Sportswoman of the Year award.[5]

Jepkosgei made Kenyan History on 28 August 2007, where she won gold in the World Championship 800 m final in Osaka, becoming the first female Kenyan middle distance runner to achieve gold over 800 m.[2] She led from start to finish to win in a time of 1 minute, 56.04 seconds, beating the Kenyan record and world leading time (1.56,18) she had set at the heats two days earlier. She retained the Kenyan Sportswoman of the Year award.[6]

On 24 May 2008 the 19-year-old Pamela Jelimo set a new Kenyan record of 1:55.76, beating the one previously held by Jepkosgei.[7] Jelimo's dominance throughout the season prevented Jepkosgei from major victories, but won Olympic silver medal over 800 m.

She collided with Caster Semenya of South Africa such that Jepkosgei fell and finished last in her heat at the 2009 World Championships. However, after a successful protest, she was allowed to run in the semi-finals[8] and eventually achieved silver medal, well behind the winner Semenya.

Jepkosgei started her 2010 season by a win at the Diamond League meeting in Shanghai, China.[9]

Her father Michael Busienei was an 800 m runner, as is her younger brother Dennis Kiprotich.[10]

Jepkosgei is now coached by Claudio Berardelli. Her manager is Federico Rosa.[2]


Year Competition Venue Position Event Notes
Representing  Kenya
2002 World Junior Championships Kingston, Jamaica 1st 800m 2:00.80
2006 Commonwealth Games Melbourne, Australia 1st 800 m 1:57.88
African Championships Bambous, Mauritius 1st 800 m 2:00.64
World Athletics Final Stuttgart, Germany 2nd 800 m 1:59.10
IAAF World Cup Athens, Greece 2nd 800 m 2:00.09
2007 World Championships Osaka, Japan 1st 800 m 1:56.04
World Athletics Final Stuttgart, Germany 1st 800 m 1:57.87
2008 Olympic Games Beijing, China 2nd 800 m 1:56.07
World Athletics Final Stuttgart, Germany 2nd 800 m 1:58.41
2009 World Championships Berlin, Germany 2nd 800 m 1:57.90
2011 World Championships Daegu, South Korea 2nd 800 m 1:57.42
2015 World Championships Beijing, China 26th (h) 800 m 2:01.40

Personal best[edit]

  • 800 metres – 1:56.04 (2007)
  • 1000 metres – 2:37.98 (2002)
  • 1500 metres – 4:02.32 (2011)
  • One Mile – 4:28.72 (2008)


  1. ^ The Standard, 2 April 2006: Sleepy village that produces track stars[permanent dead link]
  2. ^ a b c d e f IAAF: 28 August 2007: Focus on athletes
  3. ^ a b c IAAF, 23 October 2007: Jepkosgei's Beijing target – first Kenyan women's middle distance Olympic gold
  4. ^ Daily Nation, 25 December 2007: How Jepkosgei made us proud[permanent dead link]
  5. ^ The Standard 23 February 2007 Kipchirchir, Jepkosgei named Soya winners[permanent dead link]
  6. ^ "SOYA Awards – 2007 winners". Archived from the original on 13 September 2008. Retrieved 23 April 2008.
  7. ^ Daily Nation, 26 May 2008: Jelimo sets new world junior record[permanent dead link]
  8. ^ Earth Times, 16 August 2009: Appeals: Jepkosgei advances; Taylor out for good – Summary
  9. ^ IAAF: 2010 Diamond league – Shanghai – Women's 800m results Archived 25 May 2010 at the Wayback Machine
  10. ^ "Eldoret Express' tunes up her engines ahead of contest". Daily Nation. Retrieved 3 May 2018.