Here’s Kenya’s next javelin star
Close to 700,000 candidates will sit the 2019 Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE) exams that starts on Monday and a special talent will be among them.
Dorothy Chepng’etich from Kericho’s Kabokyek Secondary School will be putting to test what she has learnt in the last four years but for the youngster, it has been a delicate balancing act.
Chepng’etich is a javelin star in the making who has had to find a formula to ensure her training and studies are not interfered with as she chases success in academics and the field.
“After school, I embark on serious training everyday and on weekends which has worked for me,” replies Chepng’etich when asked how she juggles the two.
While it will take a few months to know whether she is successful in class, she has been exemplary on the field as she already has national, regional and continental titles to her name.
In 2019 alone, she has won bronze in the Under-18 and Under-20 Africa Championships held in Abidjan, Ivory Coast in May, claimed the East Africa Secondary School Games title in Arusha, Tanzania in August following on success in the national games held in Mombasa in April.
That has given her belief that she can emulate compatriot Julius Yego’s heroics and emerge a world javelin champion in the near future. “I am seriously training now and very soon I will be the world champion. I am not going to look back until I conquer the world,” says Chepng’etich.
“I draw inspiration from Julius Yego. I have been watching his videos on YouTube to help me perfect my skills. I have learnt many tricks and I hope to become a force to be reckoned with in this field event,” she adds in reference to Yego, the 2015 world javelin champion.
Chepng’etich, who threw 45.69m during the continental event, believes Kenya’s medal tally in major championships can increase if they stopped over reliance on middle and long distance races and put more emphasis on field events as well.
She is lucky that Kabokyek Secondary School principal Jane Bett has been supportive not only to her cause but sports in general while her teacher Hillary Mutai has acted as her coach over the years.
Chepng’etich also trains at Sigowet Athletics Training Camp, a stone’s throw away from the school, under renowned coach Japheth Kemey and they are all impressed.
“When she joined the school in 2016, I realised she had potential so I assisted her to hone skills. I am proud of her because she has started reaping the fruits,” says Mutai.
Bett concurs: “Chepngetich‘s future is bright because she is serious in sports and this will soon take her places.”