At the Rio 2016 Olympics, Paul Chelimo became the first U.S. athlete since 1964 to medal in the 5000 meters when he took silver behind Great Britain’s Mo Farah in a then-personal best time of 13:03.90. The month prior, he took third in the distance at the U.S. Olympic Trials, beating Eric Jenkins to the line by sixth-hundredths of a second to qualify for Rio.
At the 2018 USATF 5K Championships and Abbott Dash to the Finish Line 5K in New York, Chelimo won the men's race in 13:45, taking one second off the former course record that was set by Nick Willis in 2013.
Earlier in 2018, Chelimo won the 3000 meters at the USATF Indoor Championships but was then disqualified in his heat at the IAAF World Indoor Championships. He also ran a personal best 12:57.55 in the Brussels Diamond League meeting and finished his track season in September with a 3000-meter win at the IAAF Continental Cup.
In 2019, he made his half-marathon debut at the United Airlines NYC Half, taking third in 1:02:19. A record eight American men finished in the top 10 in the open division, as Chelimo was followed by Jared Ward, Noah Droddy, Brogan Austin, Tim Ritchie, John Raneri, Parker Stinson, and Ben True, respectively.
Chelimo previously represented the U.S. in the 3000 meters at the 2016 IAAF World Indoor Championships in Portland, OR, after taking second place in the distance on the same track a week earlier at the USATF Indoor Championships.
A native of Iten, Kenya, Chelimo has three brothers and one sister. He moved to the U.S. in 2010 to attend Shorter College in Rome, GA. In 2011, he transferred to the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. After graduating, he attained his U.S. citizenship in 2014 by joining the U.S. Army World Class Athlete Program, training while serving as a water treatment specialist. He finished college as a World University Games silver medalist, a two-time NCAA 5000-meter runner-up, and a five-time NCAA All-American. He aspires to one day become a water treatment specialist in Kenya.
- Date of Birth Oct 27, 1990
- Age 29
- Gender Male
- Country USA
- Residence Colorado Springs, CO, USA
|2017||IAAF World Championships 5000 meters||3rd||13:33.30|
|2017||USATF Championships 5000 meters||1st||13:08.62|
|2016||Rio Olympic 5000 meters||2nd||13:03.90|
|2016||U.S. Olympic Trials 5000 meters||3rd||13:35.92|
|2016||IAAF World Indoor Championships 3000 meters||7th||8:00.76|
|2019||2019 United Airlines NYC Half||3||1:02:19|
|2018||2018 Abbott Dash to the Finish Line 5K and USATF 5K Championships||1||0:13:45|
|2017||2017 USATF 5K Championships||4||0:13:58|