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AP Sports:

Kenyan Olympic Medalist Dies permalink Print E-mail
By ABQjournal staff   
Tuesday, 09 February 2010 11:49
Olympic medal winner and Albuquerque resident Kipkemboi Kimeli, 43, has died.

Kimeli, who died Saturday from complications from pneumonia and tuberculosis, won a bronze medal for his native Kenya in the 10,000 meters at the 1988 Seoul Olympics.

He first came to Albuquerque in the early 1990s at the urging of former Lobo and Kenyan Ibrahim Hussein, and moved here in 1995. Kimeli became a one-man welcoming committee for other foreign athletes who moved to or trained in the Duke City.

"He loved Albuquerque," fellow Kenyan and Albuquerque runner Mbarak Hussein said. "He hosted all the runners who came here in his apartment."

Kimeli won the 1989 IAAF world cross country championships.

"He was very talented in his heyday," Hussein said. "In 1988 Kenya had its best year in the Olympics and he was part of it."

Kimeli was a regular in local races after moving to Albuquerque and won the 2002 Duke City Marathon.

"You try your best, whether you win or lose," Kimeli said after that victory.

"He was a very special person," Hussein said. "He got along with everybody."

An account has been set up by his friends to help defer the costs of returning his body to Kenya for burial. The account number is 224-6778449 at the San Mateo Wells Fargo bank office.

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