News08 Dec 2009

Patrick Konchellah passes away


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Patrick Konchellah, 1994 Commonwealth Games 800m champion and a member of the prominent  world beating middle distance running dynasty has passed away aged 41 after battling with cancer of the stomach, his elder brother Billy Konchellah has announced.

Patrick who finished 4th in the 1997 IAAF World Championships in Athletics is a younger brother of twice 800m World champion Billy Konchellah  (1987/91) and uncle of 1500m Berlin World Champion (800m bronze medallist) Youssef Saad Kamel  (Gregory Konchellah) of Bahrain.

Patrick's son, Felix Martine Konchellah was a finalist at the World Junior Championships in Bydgoszcz, Poland, last year continuing a family tradition in 800m. 

"In the past one and half months, he had been in and out of hospital and his condition deteriorated last Friday. He was rushed to Tenwek Mission Hospital in Bomet (200km west of Nairobi) where he succumbed after spending Saturday night in agony," said Billy whose success of the track inspired his siblings and their children including his own son, Gregory.

"The guy was a great athlete and ran faster than I did (1:42.38 personal best/800m) and the country has lost one of its most gifted runners," said Billy.

Patrick was expected to spearhead Kenya's challenge in the Sydney 2000 Olympics but withdrew in the last minute. He never recovered his form. Athough the Konchellah's grew up in Nairobi, they epitomized the normadic Masai's success in athletics in the international circuit, never lacking one of their own at major championships in recent decades with Felix being the latest to continue with the family tradition.

Peter Njenga for the IAAF