Ismael Kirui ( born February 20, 1975 in Marakwet District Kapcherop in ) is a former Kenyan long-distance runner.
In 1990, Ismael Kirui was second in the Junior World Championships in the 10,000 -meter run behind his brother Richard Chelimo. He became junior world champion in cross country and junior vice champion in the 5000m in 1992.
The following year he won at the World Athletics Championships in Stuttgart at the age of 18 years and 177 days with the junior world record of 13:02,75 min through a race pace of Kenyans, in which he was able to keep up as the only goal the pace. During his two compatriots Paul Bitok and Michael Chesire far back fell at the end, the three Ethiopian Haile Gebrselassie, Fita Bayisa and Worku Bikila got one powerful. Gebrselassie had only 0,42 seconds behind in second.
Two years later at the 1995 World Cup in Gothenburg was markedly slowed down the pace on the first lap. In the second half of the race there was a increase barrel with a long final sprint. Kirui defended his title in Stuttgart in 13:16,77 min before the Moroccan Khalid Boulami, of a similar residue was scarce as Gebrselassie two years earlier.
At the World Cross Country Championships Ismael Kirui won the 1993 Bronze, 1995 Silver and bronze again in 1996 at senior level. These three starts he won gold with the Kenyan team. In 1998 he was again in seventh at the World Cross Country Championships. In this race, however, he was not among the top four Kenyans, so that he was denied the team gold.
Kirui is 1,60 m tall and weighed about 54 kg competition times. Since 1996, he is married to Rose Cheruiyot, who also was the 5000-meter runner then and now is successfully on the marathon course. Together they have three children. In addition, Ismael Kirui 's brother Richard Chelimo, the Olympic 10,000 m Second 1992, and his half-sister Catherine Kirui is also successful as a long-distance runner. His cousin Kiptanui was three times world champion in the steeplechase.