Conseslus: World record attempt more difficult now

Tuesday, December 10th, 2019 00:00 |
Olympics and two-time world steeplechase champion Conseslus Kipruto during the 2019 Doha Worlds. Photo/PD/FILE

Olympic 3,000m steeplechase champion Conseslus Kipruto is increasingly getting worried that he might not be able to achieve his childhood dream of lowering the long standing world record over the distance.

The 24-year-old says breaking the 7:53.63 world record set by Kenyan-born Qatari Saif Saaeed Shaheen 15 years ago is becoming impossible and  not by his own making.

Kipruto is blaming World Athletics for axing the water and hurdles event from the 2020 Diamond League, saying it has taken away an opportunity for athletes like him to not only gauge themselves before a major championship but also break a world record.

“I have not given up on my dream but records are set mostly at the Diamond Leagues. For steeplechase, they have done us an injustice,” said the two-time world champion who defended his title in Doha, Qatar over two months ago.

“With injuries, there is nothing one can do. But when you introduce other factors, then there lies the problem,” added Kipruto in reference to the 2020 Diamond League calendar which will see steeplechase run in only five meetings and not in the final.

“It is not just me but the many steeplechase athletes both men and women. If you’re not able to get platforms like Diamond League to gauge yourself, then you can’t be really sure what to expect,” said Kipruto, who has a personal best of 8:00.12 set at the 2016 Birmingham Diamond League.

With the uncertainty in his favourite event, Kipruto is hinting at scaling up after the Olympics.

“The 5,000m and 10,000m events have also been affected. So maybe I might end up in road races. These are the kinds of situations you can be  forced in,” he told People Sport on the sidelines of an athletes’ conference in Eldoret last week.

Having fully recovered from a nagging ankle injury that kept him out for most of the 2019 season, Kipruto is hoping for a rewarding 2020 campaign. “I guess it will be more of individual effort and going the extra mile for Tokyo Olympics,” he said.

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