Wilson Chuma Kiprugut, Kenya’s first Olympic medallist died on Tuesday at the age of 84, the Kenyan athletics federation announced on Wednesday.
Wilson placed third in the 800m race at the 1964 Tokyo Olympics.
“Chuma was one of those athletes who put Kenya on the world map. This is a sad day for the country and for the world of athletics. He was an extraordinary man,” Jackson Tuwei, the federation’s president, told AFP.
Wilson Kiprugut died Tuesday in Kericho hospital in the west of the country after losing consciousness at home, his family said.
His bronze medal at the 1964 Olympics was “extremely valuable because it was the first ever for Kenya, inspiring other athletes to shine on the Olympic stage,” his national federation said.
After his third place in 1964, behind the New Zealand legend Peter Snell, the Kenyan athlete won silver at the 1968 Olympics in Mexico City, again in the 800m, ahead of the Australian Ralph Doubell, who broke the world record that day.
After retiring from the sport, Wilson Chuma Kiprugut was employed as a supervisor on the tea plantations of a British multinational company in Kericho.