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Athlete of the week

Kenyan-born Romanian athlete Joan Chelimo Melly

Joan Chelimo Melly sursa foto Federatia romana de atletism
Joan Chelimo Melly sursa foto Federatia romana de atletism

, 11.06.2024, 13:45

The European Athletics Championships in Rome are drawing to a close. The competition enabled Romania to have yet another woman athlete advance to the Paris Olympics. Kenyan-born runner Stella Rutto has met the standards set for the 3,000m hurdles race, coming in 4th and clocking 9 minutes, 49 seconds 36 hundredths of a second.

The Romanian delegation’s performer was another Kenyan-born athlete, Joan Chelimo Melly. The Kenyan won silver in the women’s half-marathon.
Reason enough for Radio Romania International to designate Joan Chelimo Melly the Athlete of the week.

In Rome on Sunday, Joan Chelimo Melly clocked 8 minutes and 55 de seconds in the half marathon race. The African-born athlete was second only to Norwegian athlete Karoline Bjerkeli Grøvdal, who clocked 8 minutes and 9 seconds, in a formidably heart-throbbing race. Stepping onto the third step of the podium was an athlete from Great Britain, Calli Hauger-Thackery, who clocked one hour, 8 minutes and 58 seconds. Fourth-placed was another Romanian Athlete of Kenyan origin, Delvine Meringor, who clocked one hour, 9 minutes and 25 seconds.

Joan Chelimo Melly was born on November 10, 1990, in Kenya’s Uasin Gishu district. Joan began her career as a runner in long and middle-distance races, that including participation in Kenya’s national championships. Joan then moved on to road running, winning a string of international ten-thousand and half-marathon races. In 2018, in the half-marathon race in Prague, Joan clocked one hour, 5 minutes and 4 seconds, one of the best timings ever to have been recorded in half-marathon.

Also since 2018, Joan has been signed up by the Steaua Bucharest Romanian club. Her head-coach is the Romanian Carol Santa. Joan Chelimo Melly applied for Romanian citizenship she was granted in 2021. In April 2022, Joan Chelimo Melly won the International Marathon in Seoul, clocking two hours, 18 minutes and 4 seconds, a new national record. We recall Joan Chelimo Melly broke Costantina Dita’s record of 2005.

In December 2023, Joan clocked two hours, 24 minutes and 16 seconds in the Valencia marathon, a result that earned Joan the qualification to the Paris Olympics. Also, Joan Chelimo Melly holds Romania’s record in half-marathon, with a timing of 6 minutes and 58 seconds, a performance she succeeded on March 3rd, 2024 in Paris.

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