‘Famuta’ keen to break Mulei’s mark in triple jump during World Under 20 Athletics Championships
Winnie ‘Fatuma’ Chepng’etich is keen to lower Gloria Mulei’s triple jump national record when Kenya hosts the 2021 World Athletics Under-20 Athletics Championships at the Moi International Sports Centre, Kasarani from Wednesday.
The Kericho-based athlete has witnessed her performance improve for the better to an extent she feels the record of 13.05m is within striking range, days to the start of the six-day event.
During the 2018 World Under-20 Championships in Tampere, Finland Mulei broke Caroline Kola’s record of 12.91m record when she jumped 12.97m to place sixth during the event.
“I have faith that what I have been doing In training will bore fruits,” said Fatuma.
Born to Rosemary Peter and Richard Bii, the fourth born in a family of five children feels if she can lower Mulei’s record then she will motivate the national record holder to aim higher too.
“That can be a challenge not just for me but for Mulei too. If I manage 13m plus jump, I think she will too want to attempt to jump 14m,” said Fatuma.
During the nationals Fatuma jumped 12.06m which was an improvement from her performances during the regionals.
“Now is can comfortably jump 12.60m, I still feel there is room for improvement, I am aiming for 13.50 during the Championships,” she added
Fatuma, a Muslim name often confuses many people since she hails from Kericho town and trains at Kaptere Athletics training camp, in Kericho County and does not hail from the coast region.
“My mother comes from a Muslim family that is why I decided to take her religion, it didn’t go well with people including my father at the beginning, but now they all understand and support me and my decision,” she added.
The 17-year-old who recently cleared her secondary school education from Kericho Day Secondary School is also good a good sprinter who enjoys 100m and 200m.
“My parents were sprinters which explains my obsession with running and jumping. My father wanted someone to inherit his talents on the track, now he is happy I am here,” she added.
While at school, Fatuma was urged by her teachers to be versatile and not to just focus in one event.
“My teachers encouraged me alot. That I can be good on the track as well as in field events. I agree with them because it is good to be versatile.
I think even other track athletes should try all distances early in the season in order to give themselves a chance to medal in major championships cause championships are very competitive now, it requires a world record to get a medal,” explained the athlete trained by Andrew Chepkwony.
Meanwhile, Justin Maiyo who will fly the country’s flag in the men’s triple jump is also eyeing a good show next week.
Maiyo just like many athletes in team Kenya is keen to shine in an event the country will be staging for the first time.
“ I have a lot of faith in my abilities and what I have been doing in training. Triple Jump is not an event we usually do well as a country.
We go to the Championships on equal terms knowing anything can happen,” said the athlete who jumped 15.21m during the national trials held at Kasarani Stadium early last month.
With more countries starting to send delegations to Nairobi for the biannual junior event, over than 1,460 athletes from different parts of the globe will converge in Nairobi for the five-day junior track and field championship.