Chepkosgei looking beyond next week’s global championships, as Guatemala team arrives for U20 event

Friday, August 13th, 2021 00:00 |
Sheila Chepkosgei in training at the Moi Stadium in Kasarani yesterday. Photo/PD/ ALEX NJUE

Africa Youth 800m silver medallist Sheila Chepkosgei is looking beyond next week’s World Under-20 Championships in Nairobi.

Chepkosgei, who will be representing Kenya at the World Under 20 Championships in Nairobi from Tuesday, says she is keen to qualify for the  2021 World Athletics Championships in Oregon, USA.

She said it is unfortunate that no Kenyan woman reached the final of the 800m  at the Olympic Games with Mary Moraa being eliminated in the semis.

“As runners, we need to work hard to ensure we revive the good old days in 800m.

We need to emulate the likes of former Olympic champion Pamela Jelimo and world champion Jeneth Jepkosgei and I guess my journey has just started,” she added.

The biannual event, initially slated for July 7-12,  2020 in Nairobi was postponed by a year due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Chepkosgei now feels the postponement was a blessing in disguise, saying she is even better prepared for the challenge than before. 

“My target is to win gold in 800m and I have been doing my best in training here at Kasarani.

I want to go stronger because I feel we can redeem our country in 800m,” declared the 18-year-old.

Chepkosgei, who hails from Kapsokwony in Mt Elgon, Bungoma County has been training with  Brenda Jebet, a  second finisher behind her during the Kenyan trials.

“I have been intensifying my training because I am targeting to run a sub two minutes during the championship,” noted Chepkosgei who was timed at 2:03.76 during the trials.

Having bagged a silver medal in 2019 in Abidjan, Ivory Coast, Chepkosgei said she was now ready to upgrade to a gold medal on a bigger stage.

“It is a pity that our fans will not be allowed in the stadium to cheer us up. 

I want to urge them to understand the situation as it is, but they should be able to follow us live on television,” concluded the Form Three student at Friends Moi High School, Kaptama.

Meanwhile, a total of five athletes from Guatemala arrived in the country yesterday evening ahead of the 2021 World Athletics Under-20 Championships.

The Central American country located South of Mexico has race walkers Glendy Teletor, Bryan Matias and Yaquelin Teletor, others are sprinter Mariandree Chacon and Carlos Ortiz.

The team on Tuesday received endorsement from the Autonomous Sports Confederation of Guatemala to take part in the biannual event.

The team becomes the second country to arrive for the Championships after team Poland arrived in two batches, first one on Monday night and the second on Tuesday morning.

Just like the Polish team, Guatemala has to been booked at Ole Sereni Hotel.

The global event set for August 17 to 22 will see a total of over 100 countries and 1,462 athletes compete behind closed doors at Kasarani as a measure against Covid-19.

Meanwhile, 2018 World Under 20 host nation Finland will lead a number of international federations set to send their teams starting on Friday.

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