Boniface Mucheru Tumuti handed Kenya the fourth silver medal after placing second in 400m hurdles in a national record time of 47.78 in the ongoing Olympic Games at the Joao Havelange Stadium.
United States’ Clement Kerron won the gold medal in a season best time of 47.73 while Turkish Yasmani Capello settled for bronze in 47.97, also a national record for his country.
The second Kenyan in the race Haroun Koech could not keep up with the high pace and faded to seventh in 49.09 seconds.
Mucheru stepped on the accelerator immediately after the gun and pushed the rivals to the limit before losing by a very small margin to the winner, Kerron.
Unlike in the semis where he stuttered on the hurdles, this time he was flawless on the jumps and was unlucky not to snatch the gold medal.
Mucheru said he was determined to run away with the gold medal but Kerron was an edge above him and really tried to push the race.
“ I only blundered on the hurdle at the 200m mark otherwise I would have won gold,” he said.
Mucheru said there is a future in sprints in Kenya as long as they can be given the support.
He said he is especially happy to have run a national record that was previously held by world champion Nicholas Bett.
Koech on the hand noted this being his first time at the Olympics, it was good experience going forward.
Bett, Koech’s brother bowed out of the race in the first round after injuring himself on the last hurdle.
Mucheru and Koech had promised to deliver a gold medal in his honour but came short.
Running with a relaxed, easy rhythm, Clement was the clear leader going into the closing metres, but had to dip on the line to deny Tumuti as the Kenyan came up fast on the outside.
It was Clement’s first major championship medal since he won the 2009 world title, having taken the silver at the Beijing Olympics the year before.
Javier Culson of Puerto Rico was disqualified for a false start and sat sobbing by the side of the track before trudging away.