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.



6 Samples From 'Éthiopiques' in Hip-Hop

A brief history of Ethio-jazz cultural exchange featuring songs by Nas & Damian Marley, K'naan, Madlib and more.

This article was originally published on OkayAfrica in March, 2017. We're republishing it here for our Crossroads series.

It's 2000 something. I'm holed up in my bedroom searching for samples to chop up on Fruity Loops. While deep into the free-market jungle of Amazon's suggested music section, I stumble across a compilation of Ethiopian music with faded pictures of nine guys jamming in white suit jackets. I press play on the 30 second sample.

My mind races with the opportunities these breakbeats offered a budding beat maker. Catchy organs, swinging horns, funky guitar riffs, soulful melodies and grainy and pained vocalists swoon over love lost and gained. Sung in my mother tongue—Amharic—this was a far cry from the corny synthesizer music of the 1990s that my parents played on Saturday mornings. I could actually sample this shit.

The next day, I burn a CD and pop it into my dad's car. His eyes light up when the first notes ooze out of the speakers. “Where did you get this?" He asks puzzlingly. “The internet," I respond smiling.

In the 1970s my dad was one of thousands of high school students in Addis Ababa protesting the monarchy. The protests eventually created instability which lead to a coup d'état. The monarchy was overthrown and a Marxist styled military junta composed of low ranking officers called the Derg came to power. The new regime subsequently banned music they deemed to be counter revolutionary. When the Derg came into power, Amha Eshete, a pioneering record producer and founder of Ahma Records, fled to the US and the master recordings of his label's tracks somehow ended up in a warehouse in Greece.

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