The return of Jelimo

September 15, 2008 12:00 am

, NAIROBI, September 15 – A grand reception awaits Olympic 800 metres champion and IAAF jackpot winner Pamela Jelimo who is scheduled to arrive back in Kenya on Tuesday night.

Plans are underway to hold momentous reception at her Koyo village home in Kapsabet which will be led by minister of Sport and Youth Affairs Hellen Sambili and her Higher Education counterpart Sally Kosgei and is expected to include 2,000 guests.

She is expected to land at Eldoret airport at 10 on Thursday morning and then proceed to her home for the celebrations.

The 19 year old will arrive straight from the World Athletics Final (WAF) in Stuttgart, Germany where she capped an unbelievable track season with her 12th victory in the 800 metres race in championship record time of 1:56.23 that saw her pocket another Sh2 million.

Jelimo won the IAAF 1$ million Golden Jackpot after winning all six Golden League meetings races.
She won the continental title in Addis Ababa 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. “"It was a good test before the Olympic Games,” she said.

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.


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