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Daniel Komen

From Academic Kids

Daniel Kipngetich Komen (born May 17, 1976) is a Kenyan runner best known as the first (and thus far only) man to achieve back-to-back sub-four minute miles on his way to clocking a world record 7:58.61 for two miles. Komen is the second man ever to break both the 13 minute mark for the 5000 m run and the 3½ minute mark for the 1500 m run (the first being Said Aouita). He also holds the world record for the 3000m (both indoors and out).

Komen rose to prominence in the mid- to late-1990s after his exceptional junior career, streak of world records, and his rivalry with the great Haile Gebrselassie. Other accolades include being the 1997 World Championships in Athletics and 1998 Commonwealth Games 5000m champion. His indoor 3000m record is still referred to as "Mount Everest" in athletics circles and has only been bettered twice outdoors. Those two occasions include Hicham El Guerrouj's 1999 run in Brussels of 7:23.09, second only to Komen's own world best in a spectacular 7:20.67 in 1996 in Rieti, Italy.

Komen is from the Kalenjin tribe, is one of thirteen children and began running at the age of seven as a means of getting to school. After running his world record for two miles, he proved that his achievement was not down to luck by running under eight minutes again at an Australian athletics meet in Sydney on February 28, 1998. Komen ran two miles in 7:58.91 on this occasion, just missing his previous record. After his major achievements, he continued to compete well but his performances never reached the same remarkable levels.

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