Naftali Temu

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Naftali Temu
Naftali Temu Mexico City 1968.jpg
Personal information
Birth name Naftali Temu
Nationality Kenyan
Born (1945-04-20)20 April 1945
Nyamira, Kenya
Died 10 March 2003(2003-03-10) (aged 57)
Nairobi, Kenya
Sport Track
Event(s) 5000 meters, 10,000 meters
Achievements and titles
Personal best(s) 5000 meters: 13:36.6[1]
10,000 meters: 28:21.80[1]

Naftali Temu (20 April 1945 – 10 March 2003) was a Kenyan athlete. He became Kenya's first gold medalist when he won the 10,000 metres race at the 1968 Summer Olympics in Mexico City.

Running career[edit]

Early career[edit]

Born in Nyamira District, Naftali Temu started running at the age of 14. After completing schooling, he joined the Kenyan Army.[2]

Temu competed at the 1964 Olympics in Tokyo, where he finished 49th in the marathon.[3]

He won 5,000 metres silver medal at the inaugural All-Africa Games in 1965, behind compatriot Kipchoge Keino. He burst onto the international long-distance running scene at the 1966 Commonwealth Games in Kingston, Jamaica, where he beat the world record holder Ron Clarke to win gold in the six miles. Two days later, Temu finished fourth in the three miles.

1968 Olympics[edit]

At the Mexico Olympics, in the 10,000 metres final, only Mamo Wolde from Ethiopia managed to keep Temu's pace. Wolde went to lead at the bell, but Temu passed him with only 50 metres remaining to win the gold. Four days later, he contested the 5,000 metres final, where he won the bronze medal, only narrowly beaten by Mohammed Gammoudi from Tunisia and fellow countryman Kipchoge Keino. Later, he also contested the Olympic marathon, where he had anohther great battle with Wolde, but the latter broke free just after the 30-kilometre mark, and Temu only managed a 19th-place finish.[citation needed]

Retirement and death[edit]

The rest of the Temu's athletics career went downward. He finished nineteenth in the 10,000 metres at the 1970 Commonwealth Games in Edinburgh, and was eliminated in the heats of the 10,000 metres at the 1972 Summer Olympics. He retired in 1973.

After his career ended, Temu he ran a farm in North Mugirango, which was a gift from then president Jomo Kenyatta. On 10 March 2003, he died of prostate cancer at the Kenyatta National Hospital, aged 57.[2]


External links[edit]