Africa 400m hurdles champion Boniface Mucheru made history on Thursday as the first Kenyan to win an Olympic medal in 400m hurdles when he claimed silver at the Rio Olympic Games.
Not only did Mucheru post a personal best 47.78 seconds, he also broke the national record of 47.79 set by Nicholas Bett when winning the World title in Beijing last year.
Mucheru, 24, pulled from behind on lane seven to push his tarsal ahead but all was in vain as American Kerron Clement, who won silver at the 2008 Beijing Olympics, triumphed in 47.73. Yasmani Copello from Turkey settled for bronze in 47.92.
Mucheru, who went into the race with personal best 48.89, becomes the third Kenyan to win an Olympic medal in sprints after Julius Sang, who won bronze in 400m at the 1972 Munich Olympics and Samson Kitur, who also won bronze in 400m at 1992 Barcelona.
Mucheru’s glide to the top has been gradual. He won bronze in 400m and 4x400m at 2010 Africa Championships before getting another bronze in 400m hurdles and 4x400m at 2014 Africa Championships.
He finished 35th in 400m hurdles at 2012 London Olympics and 15th in 4x400m at 2014 World relays before settling sixth in 400m hurdles at 2014 Commonwealth Games.
He claimed fifth place in 400m hurdles at the 2015 World Championships before winning 400m hurdles gold at the 2016 Africa Championships.