Edwin Too hands Kenya its first African decathlon medal in four decades

Edwin Kipmutai Too

Edwin Kipmutai Too.

Photo credit: Pool

His Paris Olympics dream might have proved a pipedream but Kenya’s decathlon athlete Edwin Kipmutai Too is not giving up as he continues to make history.

Three months after his heroics at the African Games, Too was at it again to hand the country its first decathlon medal in 42 years at the Africa Athletics Championships in Doula, Cameroon on Saturday.

Too, 29, who won discus (37.82m) and long jump (7.39m, finished second in 400m (47.99) besides settling third in 100m (10.98) and javelin (49.08) for his total of 7132 points to get bronze.

Algerian Larbi Bouraada amassed 7,447 points to win his third successive title, edging out compatriot Dhiae Boudoumi to second place with 7215 points.

It was Kenya’s first medal since the historic 1982 African Athletics Championships in Cairo where Charles Kokoyo (7,080), Patrick Cheruiyot (6,625) and Solomon Kaptich (6,511) swept the podium.

Not only did Too break the decathlon national record that had stood for 42 years but also gave Kenya a medal in the event for the first time in 37 years at the African Games on March 19, this year in Accra, Ghana.

Too collected 7140 points to settle for silver, and break Charles Kokoyo’s previous national record of 7118 points attained at the 1978 Brisbane Commonwealth Games.

It was Kenya’s second medal at the African championships in Doula after Roncer Kipkorir Konga claimed bronze in 10,000m in 28:52.94, losing out to Ethiopians Nibret Melak (28:52.27) and Gemechu Dida (28:52.7).

“It feels good to claim my second continental medal even though I was hoping for gold here in Cameroon,” said Too.

“I came fourth in Mauritius in 2022 and getting to the podium here is a great feat especially when I am the first one to win Kenya a medal in four decades.”

Too was a high jumper at Chebitet Secondary School in Kericho County but was converted to decathlon by coach Gedion Chirchir when joined Kenya Prisons Service in 2015.

“I took up decathlon fully in 2018 where he managed 6100 points, a result that inspired me,” said Too, who is grateful to his wife, the 2015 African Games 100m silver medallist, Eunice Kadogo for her support.

Too won the trials for the 2019 African Games trials in 6834 points but didn't attain the qualifying standards.

He went on to win the national title with 6911 points the same year and would make Team Kenya for the 2022 African Athletics Championship in Mauritius where he finished fourth with 7011 points.

This year has proved one of the best for Too winning silver at the African Games and bronze at the Africa championships.

Too is planning to focus on the long jump next year with the help of his coach Perps Mbutu to see if I can secure qualification to the 2025 World Athletics Championships and 2028 Los Angeles Olympic Games.