Japheth Kimutai (born December 20, 1978, in Lelmokwo, Nandi District) is a Kenyan middle-distance runner who specialized in 800 metres.

In 1998 he won the gold medal at the Kuala Lumpur Commonwealth Games in a time of 1:43.82. In the same year he won the African Championships 800 metres in Dakar, Senegal. He finished fourth at the 1998 IAAF World Cup

In 1999 he won gold at the All-Africa Games.

In 2000 in Sydney for the Olympic Games Japheth failed to reach the final despite running the quickest time by a Kenyan in the games.

He had started his career brightly when in 1994 he won the silver medal at the World Junior Championships and then in 1997 when still a Junior set the World junior record in the 800 metres in a time of 1:43.64 in Zürich on August 13, 1997. The world junior record was beaten by Abubaker Kaki of Sudan in 2008.[1]


Year Competition Venue Position Event Notes
Representing  Kenya
1994 World Junior Championships Lisbon, Portugal 2nd 800m 1:48.22
4 × 400 m relay DQ
1995 African Junior Championships Bouaké, Ivory Coast 1st 800 m 1:47.67
1st 1500 m 3:49.78
1996 World Junior Championships Sydney, Australia 4th 800m 1:48.97
8th 4 × 400 m relay 3:09.04
1998 African Championships Dakar, Senegal 1st 800 m 1:45.82
Commonwealth Games Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia 1st 800 m 1:43.82
1999 World Championships Seville, Spain 5th 800 m 1:45.18
All-Africa Games Johannesburg, South Africa 1st 800 m 1:44.91
2000 Olympic Games Sydney, Australia 12th (sf) 800 m 1:45.64
2002 Commonwealth Games Manchester, United Kingdom 5th 800 m 1:47.46
2003 World Championships Paris, France 19th (sf) 800 m 1:47.53


Records Preceded by Jim Ryun Men's World Junior Record Holder, 800 metres 13 August 1997 – 6 June 2008 Succeeded by Abubaker Kaki Khamis