Esther Wanjiru

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Esther Wanjiru Maina (born March 27, 1977) is a retired female long-distance runner from Kenya.

She is from Kahuhia, Murang'a District.[1]

On January 15, 1999 she finished second at a half marathon race in Tokyo. The race was won by Elana Meyer, who set a world record, while Wanjiru scored did also beat the previous world record by timing 1:06:49 [2]

She won the Sendai Half Marathon in 1998 and 1999, and finished second in 2000.[3]

She finished third at the 2000 Osaka Ladies Marathon,[4] setting her personal best of 2:23:31 hours.

Wanjiru became the first Kenyan woman to win Commonwealth Games gold medal, although Jackline Maranga won 1500 metres later at the same games.[5]


Year Competition Venue Position Event Notes
Representing  Kenya
1998 Commonwealth Games Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia 1st 10,000 metres
1999 World Championships Seville, Spain 11th Marathon 2:29:36
2000 Osaka Ladies Marathon Osaka, Japan 3rd Marathon 2:23:31
Olympic Games Sydney, Australia 4th Marathon 2:26:17

She also competed in the marathon at the 2002 Commonwealth Games in Manchester. She pulled out of the race whilst leading.


  • Wanjiru made a cameo in the 2000 Japanese movie "Pinch Runner" as herself.


  1. ^ Daily Nation, August 39, 1999: Wanjiru fails to come through
  2. ^ IAAF: Half Marathon All Time
  3. ^ "1991-2008 Sendai Half Marathon Past Top 20 Finishers". Archived from the original on 2011-07-16. Retrieved 2009-01-20.
  4. ^ "Maratona feminina de Osaka 2000, Corrida de rua". Retrieved 2018-05-02.
  5. ^ August 3, 2002: Daily Nation, Lukewarm performance by team in Manchester

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