Athletic Persons Of The Month – September

Brother Colm O’Connell, Coach to Olympic and World 800m Champion David Radish is the Cork City Sports Athletics Person’s of the Month for September.

Brother Colm O’Connell is an Irish missionary in Kenya,  originally from Caherduggan, Mallow, County Cork.  Shortly after moving to  Iten Kenya, despite having no coaching background, he began helping aspiring young athletes and he took over training athletes from Peter Foster, brother of British runner Brendan Foster. Today, he has 120 training camps and is known as “the Godfather of Kenyan running”. His work with the youth has included track and field training. Twenty five of his students have gone on to become world champions, and four have won Olympic gold medals.

His students include Edna Kiplagat, Florence Kiplagat, Lornah Kiplagat, Linet Masai, Mary Keitany, Ibrahim Kipkemboi Hussein, Peter Rono, Matthew Birir, Sammy Tirop, Haron Lagat, Janeth Jepkosgei, Viola Kibiwott, Brimin Kipruto, Joseph Tengelei, Isaac Songok, Wilson Boit, Vivian Cheruiyot, Michael Kipyego, Augustine Kiprono Choge, Wilson Kipketer and David Lekuta Rudisha. Brother Colm is credited in starting the influx of female athletes to Iten in the early 1990s when he trained and hosted World Champion Sally Barsosio, Rose Cheruiyot and world junior champion Lydia Cheromei.

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