Amos Biwott was the first of the many Kenyan runners who have come to dominate the 3,000 metre steeplechase. Biwott’s surprising win at the Mexico City Olympics presaged Kenyan dominance in distance running. Biwott had only run three steeplechase races before the Olympics, and his technique was ungainly at best, but he was the first man to have the courage not to place one foot on the barrier. Nonetheless, he cleared the whole obstacle in a rustic hurdling technique and, in doing so, reduced his clearance time. In Mexico City he was the only runner who made it across the finish line with completely dry feet in both the Olympic qualifying heat and the final, which he won by 0.6 seconds ahead of compatriot Benjamin Kogo.
After this golden moment, Biwott’s athletics career went slowly downward. He finished third at the 1970 Commonwealth Games, was sixth at the 1972 München Olympics and finished his career with an eighth place at the 1974 Commonwealth Games. After his athletics career, Biwott worked for the Kenya Prisons Service until his ignominious release in 1978 when he was prosecuted for theft. After that he was a watchman at the stadium.
Personal Best: 3000S – 8:23.73 (1972).
Athlete Olympic Results Content
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