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Kenya’s record breaking athlete Rono dies aged 72

Kenyan long-distance runner Henry Rono, who set four world records in 81 days, has died at the age of 72, athletics officials said on Thursday. 

Rono was a student at the Washington State University in the United States when he blazed the track with four world records in 1978 in the 3,000m, 5,000m and 3,000m steeplechase disciplines. 

He “was one of the best long distance athletes Kenya has ever produced,” two-time Olympic gold medallist and Kenya’s former Olympic committee chief Kipchoge Keino told AFP. 

“It’s unfortunate he didn’t compete in the 1980 Olympic games, he would easily have come home with at least two gold medals.”

Athletics Kenya said Rono had been hospitalised for the past 10 days. 

Rono, who at one-time lived in a car park in the US, returned to Kenya in 2019 after three decades, according to media reports. 

“I was a baby when Henry left the country. I’m now 43,” his brother told Kenya’s The Standard newspaper at the time. 

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