10 years later: Pamela Jelimo to receive London Olympics bronze

Kenya's Pamela Jelimo (left) and Kenya's Janeth Jepkosgei shake hands after the Women's 800m event during the Diamond League athletics meeting in Rome on May 31, 2012.

Photo credit: File | AFP

What you need to know:

  • Jelimo, the 2008 Africa 800m and 2012 World Indoor 800m champion, who finished fourth in one minute and 57.59 second set to benefit after race winner Mariya Savinova from Russia, was stripped of the gold medal for doping.
  • Jelimo, who celebrated her 32nd birthday on December 5, is set to receive her bronze medal from the 2012 London Olympic Games on Wednesday at the National Olympic Committee of Kenya (NOC-K) office, Gallant House, Nairobi.

Though out of the public limelight, the history-making Pamela Jelimo is still winning.

Jelimo, the first Kenyan woman to win an Olympic gold medal with her exploits in 800m at the 2008 Beijing Summers Games, is set to receive yet another medal.

Jelimo, the 2008 Africa 800m and 2012 World Indoor 800m champion, who finished fourth in one minute and 57.59 second set to benefit after race winner Mariya Savinova from Russia, was stripped of the gold medal for doping.

Jelimo, who celebrated her 32nd birthday on December 5, is set to receive her bronze medal from the 2012 London Olympic Games on Wednesday at the National Olympic Committee of Kenya (NOC-K) office, Gallant House, Nairobi.

Legendary Kipchoge Keino, who is an International Olympic Committee (IOC) member alongside NOC-K president, Paul Tergat, will preside over the presentation ceremony.   

South Africa’s Caster Semenya and another Russian Ekaterina Poistogova, who had settled for silver and bronze, were scaled to gold and silver with their times of 1:57.23 and 1:57.53 respectively.

Kenya’s 2007 World 800m champion Janeth Jepkosgei, who had settled eighth in the race in 2:00.19 and Hellen Obiri, who came eighth in women’s 1,500m at the same Olympics, will receive their certificates.

Another Russian Elena Arzhakova, who finished sixth in 1:59.21 in the same race was also banned for having doped too.

With Savinova and Arzhakova banned, Jepkosgei, who had settled eighth in the race in 2:00.19 was upgraded to sixth.

On November 9, 2015, the Independent Commission Investigation of the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) asked for a lifetime ban for doping for Savinova, who had won gold and Poistogova, who had won bronze.

In February 2017, it was announced that Savinova was stripped of her gold medal but Poistogova was suspended in 2017 for two years, backdated to October 2014. Her London result, though, was not affected.

Alysia Johnson Montaño (1:57.93) from the United States of America and Burundi’s Francine Niyonsaba (1:59.63) finished fourth and fifth in the women’s 800m final.

A record four athletes that finished ahead of Obiri, who had settled 12th, were suspended for doping- Aslı Çakır Alptekin and Gamze Bulut from Turkey, who had won gold and silver respectively, Natallia Kareiva of Belarus, who had finished fifth and Russian Yekaterina Kostetskaya, who came sixth.

Maryam Yusuf Jamal (Bahrain), Tatyana Tomashova (Russia) and Abeba Aregawi (Ethiopia) were all scaled to gold, silver and bronze.

Aregwai, who changed allegiance to Sweden was suspended for doping in 2016.

This is the second time Olympics medals or certificates are being awarded in Kenya years later.

Asbel Kiprop received his gold medal from the 2008 Beijing Olympics in Nairobi in 2011 after the winner,  Rashid Ramzi , was flagged down for doping.

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