Beatrice Chepkoech using indoor events to tune up
World steeplechase record holder Beatrice Chepkoech will use indoor events to shape up for the 2020 season where her main target is to win gold at the July 24-August 9 Olympics in Tokyo, Japan.
Chepkoech, 28, plans to compete in 1,500m indoor races in a bid to build up her speed and endurance heading to the Olympics and has already had a taste of that, having finished fourth at last Friday’s Indoor Meeting in Karlsruhe, Germany in what was the second stop on the World Athletics Indoor Tour.
She clocked 4:08.59 in a race won by Ethiopia’s Axumawit Embaye in 4:07.94 ahead of Uganda’s Winnie Nanyondo who clocked 4:08.06 and Ethiopi’s Lemlem Hailu came third in 4:08.32.
While she was not looking at the result but rather how her body will respond, Chepkoech, who won 15 of the 17 races she participated in between 2018 and 2019, is happy with her progress.
“When I start with 1,500m, I am going to gain a lot of speed before moving to the outdoor where I will do 3,000m flat.
That will also push me to get that speed endurance for the steeplechase,” she told People Sport.
Chepkoech, who has a world record of 8:44.32 set in the 2018 Monaco Diamond League, consolidated her status as the world No1 steeplechaser when she won her first gold medal at the 2019 World Championships in Doha, Qatar.
“It was my first World Championships win and it motivates me a lot towards the Olympics. I am heading to Tokyo with one thing in mind, to win it,” she added.
With steeplechase one of the events cut from the 2020 Diamond League core programme in an effort to create faster-paced and more exciting meetings, Chepkoech is exploring her options with switching to road races not far off her mind.
“I will start towards the end of the year. I will try to do maybe 10K or 15K towards road races but for now, we have to focus on the Olympics because there is no more final in the Diamond League,” she said.