Kipsiele Koech running on the 2010 Diamond League circuit
Kipsiele Koech running on the 2010 Diamond League circuit

Paul Kipsiele Koech (born 10 November 1981) is a Kenyan runner who specializes in the 3000 metres steeplechase. He won the 2004 Olympic bronze medal in this event. His personal best of 7:54.31 minutes is the third fastest of all-time.[1]

He was born in 1981 in Kapchepkoro, near Sotik town, Sotik District. He graduated from Cheplanget Secondary School in 1999. He did well at the National Cross Country Championships and was subsequently invited to compete in Europe and joined a team managed by James Templeton.[2]

Despite being among the fastest steeplechasers, he has failed several times at the Kenyan trials for World championships or Olympics.[3] He competed at the all seven IAAF World Athletics Final meetings, finishing every time in the top three, being the only athlete to achieve it.[4]

He has had success in cross country running, with wins at the Cinque Mulini (2006) and the Iris Lotto Cross Cup (2007) to his name. He holds the steeplechase meet record for the Prefontaine Classic, Adidas Grand Prix, and DN Galan.

He has built a primary school near his home. He also trains some younger runners, including World junior champion Mercy Cherono.[3] Koech is married and has a daughter born in 2004 and a younger son.[2][3]

In February 2010 he set a world best of 5:17.04 in the rarely competed 2000 m indoor steeplechase.[5] He won twice in the 2010 Diamond League and finished with enough points to become the inaugural steeplechase Diamond Trophy winner. He improved his indoor 2000 m steeplechase record to 5:13.77 at the Indoor Flanders Meeting in February 2011.

At the Rome Diamond League event in May Koech set a new personal best of 7:54.31, the third fastest time ever for the 3000 metre steeplechase.[6] Despite this performance, he did not perform well in the altitude of the Kenyan Olympic trials and finished outside of the top five.[7]


Year Competition Venue Position Notes
2003 All-Africa Games Abuja, Nigeria 2nd
World Athletics Final Monte Carlo, Monaco 2nd
2004 Olympic Games Athens, Greece 3rd 3000 m steeple
World Athletics Final Monte Carlo, Monaco 3rd
2005 World Championships Helsinki, Finland 7th 3000 m steeple
World Athletics Final Monte Carlo, Monaco 1st
2006 African Championships Bambous, Mauritius 1st
World Athletics Final Stuttgart, Germany 1st
IAAF World Cup Athens, Greece 2nd
2007 World Athletics Final Stuttgart, Germany 1st
2008 World Indoor Championships Valencia, Spain 2nd 3000 m
World Athletics Final Stuttgart, Germany 1st
2009 World Championships Berlin, Germany 4th 3000 m steeple
World Athletics Final Thessaloniki, Greece 2nd 3000 m s'chase
2010 Diamond League Diamond trophy winner 1st 3000 m s'chase

Personal bests


  1. ^
  2. ^ a b 21 August 2004: Focus on Africa – Paul Kipsielei Koech (KEN)
  3. ^ a b c The Standard, 12 August 2009: Kipsiele confident of Berlin victory Archived 13 August 2009 at the Wayback Machine
  4. ^ IAAF, 24 September 2009: World Athletics Final – a statistical farewell
  5. ^ Hendrix, Ivo (15 February 2010). "Koech clocks World best in 2000m Steeplechase, G. Dibaba impresses in Gent". IAAF. Retrieved 16 February 2010.
  6. ^ Hedrix, Ivo (14 February 2011). Kombich clocks world leading 3:34.13 in Gent, junior Koech continues to impress. IAAF. Retrieved on 2011-02-14.
  7. ^ Mutuota, Mutwiri (23 June 2012). Rudisha runs 1:42.12 at altitude – Kenyan Olympic Trials Archived 28 June 2012 at the Wayback Machine. IAAF. Retrieved on 2012-06-24.

Sporting positions Preceded by Saif Saaeed Shaheen Men's 3000 m Steeple Best Year Performance 2007–2008 Succeeded by Ezekiel Kemboi