News Brief

Kenya’s Ezekiel Kemboi Is Stripped of Bronze After French Competitor Files a Formal Appeal

Hours after the conclusion of the 3000 meter steeplechase, Mahiedine Mekhissi-Benabbad of France filed an appeal against the Kenyan king of steeplechase, claiming he had stepped out of bounds.

It’s a good thing Ezekiel Kemboi has decided to quash his retirement plans after Kenyan compatriot Conseslus Kipruto snatched what he thought was going to be another gold medal in Wednesday’s 3000 meter steeplechase at the Rio Olympics.


Hours after Kemboi had settled for bronze, competitor Mahiedine Mekhissi-Benabbad of France filed an appeal against the two-time Olympic 3,000 meter steeplechase champion and four-time world champion, claiming he had stepped out of bounds during the fourth lap when trying to clear a water pump, reports Capital FM Sports. Athletics team manager Joseph Kiget filed the complaint on behalf of the Frenchman, requesting the track and field governing group, IAAF’s Jury of Appeal, review its call.

Is France’s medal count extra low this year? Petty.

However, the jury agreed and upon reviewing the video evidence, they confirmed that Kemboi’s foot had indeed tapped out of bounds on a curve, along the home stretch.

Busting out the good ol' rulebook, the jury pointed to article 163.3d (b) which declares that in all races (or at any point of during a race) a runner on a bend, on the outer half of the track or on any curved part of the diversion from the track, which is according to article 162.10, cannot step within the curb or line marking the border.

So Kemboi will have to hand over the bronze medal to Mekhissi-Benabbad, who has taken home silver medals from both London and Beijing games, even though he had crossed the finish line in 8:08.47more than three seconds ahead of Mekhissi-Benabbad’s fourth-place time.

This makes for an unfortunate end to Rio for the Kenyan king of steeplechase, but thankfully, he’ll still have a shot at next year’s world championship in London. France best be ready.

 

Interview

Interview: Terri Is Stepping Out of the Shadows

We talk to the Wizkid-signed artist about the story behind the massive hit "Soco" and his latest Afro Series EP.

Certain afrobeats songs have made in-roads in international markets and paved the way for the genre's ceaselessly-rising widespread recognition. Among these history-defining songs were D'banj's "Oliver Twist," Tekno's "Pana," Davido's "If" & "Fall," Runtown's "Mad Over You," and of course, Wizkid's "Soco." Wizkid released "Soco" under his label imprint, Starboy Entertainment in March 2018, and the song spread like wildfire across Africa and beyond. "Soco" was an Afro-pop wonder delivered at a time when the 'afrobeats to the world' movement was gathering steam, further cementing its electric nature. The Northboi-produced song was co-signed by celebrities across the world like Rihanna, Cardi B, and Paul Pogba and has accrued well over a hundred million streams across streaming platforms worldwide.

"Soco" was not only a trailblazer amongst mid-2010s afrobeats records, it was also the introduction of the first Wizkid-signed artist, Terri. Just weeks before "Soco" was released, Terri was discovered by Wizkid's longtime producer, Mutay, who saw him covering the song "Oshe" on social media.

Before "Soco," Terri Akewe was well on his way to fame. At fifteen, he had performed at street carnivals in his neighbourhood and, one time, was carried all the way home by neighbours after winning a Coca-Cola sponsored singing competition. Before his life-changing meeting with Wizkid, Terri had a seven-track EP ready for release, as well as a viral song titled "Voices." "One time I was on set with the video director T.G Omori, he told me that 'Voices' was the first time he heard of me" Terri tells me as we settle on a plush couch at his home in Lagos.

Regardless of Terri's initial career trajectory; signing to a label headed by afrobeats' biggest superstar was bound to accelerate his musical journey, and at the same time, cast a huge shadow of expectation on his career, especially given a debut as spectacular as "Soco." With his latest EP, Afro Series, powered by the sensational single "Ojoro," one thing is clear: Terri is stepping out of the shadows into his own spotlight and he is doing it on his own terms.

This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.

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