Chebet finds pleasure rearing her sheep flock during Covid-19 lull

Wednesday, June 3rd, 2020 00:00 |
Sandrafelis Chebet on her way to winning a gold medal at the 2015 World Junior Championships in Cali, Colombia. Photo/PD/ERICSON KIPRONO

Ericson Kiprono

Tucked in the heart of Lemotit village, some 6km from Londiani Junction in Kericho County is the homestead of World cross country medallist Sandra Chebet.

The home is dotted with Merino sheep, which she keeps for their highly sought wool and meat.

People Sport caught up with her tending to her merino sheep at their farm in Lemotit, Kericho County

Chebet ventured into sheep farming last year where she stocked her farm with 20 Merino sheep.

A rancher in Molo, Nakuru County introduced her to Merino sheep, and having gathered breeding tips from the farmer.

She has since phased out the Red Maasai completely, and her Merino rams are a highly sought breeding stock.

“Ewes go for Sh10,000 while a ram for Sh15,000,” She says, adding that she sells her sheep to Farmers’ Choice and in the local markets.

Merino sheep are able to thrive in various climatic conditions because they adapt well, according to Chebet.

“She said the  animals further require little space and can be raised alongside other livestock. They eat wide varieties of plants, thus, utilising even the available low quality forage sufficiently,”she said.

Chebet has been training alone at her home following a government ban on social gatherings to prevent the spread of coronavirus.

She said she is looking forward to a better season when competition resumes in the new schedule of the Wanda Diamond League in August after some meetings were cancelled owing to Covid-19.

“I have been following a training programme sent to us by our coach, though it’s challenging to train alone. We are used to group training which motivates us to persevere,” she said.

Diamond League races

She is back to the drawing board after the races she was supposed to compete in were called off across the globe because of the virus.

She hopes to use the Diamond League races to sharpen her skills ahead of the Olympics Games that were moved to next year.

“I was in good shape for the cancelled races. I now want to use the Diamond League races to rectify small mistakes as I focus on the Olympic Games,” she said.

“All is not lost, and my training has been going on well. I want to improve my personal best time,”Chebet said.

Concerning the Olympics Games, she said she has enough time to prepare. Her aim is to win a medal.

“My goal at the Olympics Games will be a top three finish because I’m missing an Olympic medal in my cabinet of trophies,” she added

She was also to lead a star-studded field in the 10km senior women team to the 6th Edition of the Africa Cross Country Championship in Togo,Lome which was initially scheduled for April 8.

Chebet was to team up with Joyce Chepkemoi, Emmaculate Anyango, Beatrice Chebet, Monica Chirchi and Caroline Chepkemoi.

In 2018 she stunned Stacy Ndiwa to qualify for Gold Coast Commonwealth Games due in Australia.

Chebet won the 10,000m race after she clocked 32 minutes and 41.2 seconds to triumph and exact sweet revenge on Stacy Ndiwa, who beat her at the National Cross Country Championships at Uhuru Gardens.

In February this year she braved challenging weather conditions to emerge top in the senior race at the Nairobi region Cross Country Championship held  at the Posta Grounds along Ngong Road.

Chebet stormed to an easy victory, clocking 35:07 ahead of Caroline Gitonga (35:10) and Sammary Cherotich (37:15) who placed second and third respectively.

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