It reads like the plot of a WWE broadcast: the greatest of all time goes out on a high note, announcing his retirement after one last valiant battle. Then, he is told he was disqualified, and his award is handed to one of his fiercest rivals (after the rival ratted out his error to the officials). The next day, the disgraced competitor un-retires, stating he will seek revenge.
That’s exactly what happened on Thursday when Ezekiel Kemboi, the most decorated steeplechaser in history, announced on his Facebook page that, after just about 18ish hours of retirement, he was back. The Kenyan two-time Olympic gold medallist had stated on Wednesday that he was done, passing the steeplechase crown to the younger Conseslus Kipruto, who beat him soundly in the Rio final. But after the race, the French athletics federation lodged a complaint, pointing out that Kemboi, who ended up with the bronze, had actually stepped off the track momentarily mid-race, after the water obstacle. The French runner Mahiedine Mekhissi Benabbad ended up on the podium with the bronze.
Now Kemboi wants revenge. The 34 year old will compete in the 2017 IAAF World Championships in London.
His Facebook post suggests that he’s going to take aim at Mekhissi Benabbad and beat him on the track in London:
This is good news for track fans, as Kemboi is one of the most flamboyant showmen in sports. We look forward to one last Kemboi dance.