Jelimo expected home next week

September 8, 2008 12:00 am

, NAIROBI, September 8 – Olympic 800 metres champion and IAAF Golden Jackpot winner Pamela Jelimo is expected back in the country early next week.

The teenage sensation who became the first Kenyan to win the $1 million Golden jackpot in Brussels last week will conclude her season this weekend when she competes at the World Athletics Final in Stuttgart Germany on Sunday.

In addition to winning in all six Golden League meets, successful claimants of the $1 million cash prize must compete at the World Athletics Final to be eligible for their share of the Jackpot.

Jelimo clinched the jackpot after winning in Berlin, Oslo, Rome, Paris, Zurich and Brussels in a remarkable season.

Unbeaten over the distance she first lined up for the two lap race at the national trials for African Championships in April, Jelimo has simply been dominated the race in a way never seen before.

She won the continental title in Addis Ababb setting a stadium record of 1:58.70 to beat Maria Mutola and a week later she clocked 1:55.76 run in Hengelo.

She made her Golden League debut in the German capital Berlin where she dipped under 1:55 for the first time in what was apparently just her fifth outing over the distance, clocking 1:54.99 to supplant Mutola as the African record holder. Winning by nearly four full seconds, she immediately planted herself firmly as a Jackpot contender.

Oslo was next, and with a 1:55.41 performance with a victory margin of more than three-and-a-half seconds. Again she humbled the field, leaving World champion Jepkosgei a distant fifth.

She returned home to dominate at the Kenyan Olympic Trials, though her outing in Nairobi did nothing to dent her international momentum. When the Jackpot chase resumed in Rome, she again was without peer, producing a 1:55.69 victory.

By then, virtually all the leading 800m runners in the world had already resigned themselves to the fact that the super-teen was untouchable. For those who didn’t subscribe to that notion, Jelimo stamped her authority the following weekend in Paris.

At the Stade de France, she again lowered her World junior and continental record with a 1:54.97 run, again winning by more than three-and-a-half-seconds. Her unlikely rise continued in Beijing with a gold-medal winning performance of 1:54.87, another World junior and African record.

Post Olympics, Jelimo set another World Junior best and African record running a stunning 1:54.01 in Zurich elevating her to the No. 3 position all-time. Then last Friday she won the coveted jackpot in Brussels to complete a memorable year.


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