Kiyeng: Hope of a nation in today’s steeplechase race

Wednesday, August 4th, 2021 00:00 |
Kenya’s Ivy Kiyeng on her way to winning the women 3,000m Steeplechase semi-final race at the Tokyo Olympics Games. Photo/AFP

Olympic silver medalist Hyvin Kiyeng is silently praying to be the first Kenyan gold medalist at the Tokyo Olympics Games.

The fact that Kenya has never won an Olympic gold in the 3,000m women steeplechase race at the Summer Games is another endearing factor to Kiyeng who has been enjoying a good form recently.

At exactly 2pm Kenyan time today, Kiyeng will be hoping to have successfully navigated through the 28 fixed barriers and seven water jump to save Kenya’s face, 48 hours after the fading athletics giant surrendered the men’s title in for the first time in olympics history.

“After winning a silver medal in 2016, it is my prayer that this time I will get a gold medal.

There is more at stake since we painfully lost the men’s title on Monday. Winning this one may not make amends, but it will be a consolation at least,” Kiyeng told People Sport.

According to the 2015 world champion, for the first time though in a very long time at the Olympics, the Kenyan girls are the pre-race favourites.

“As Kenyans we don’t want to let the favourite tag get into our heads. We have to get the job done,” she added.

World record holder in the race, Chepkoech has, however, not been in the best form in since winning the world title in 2019 as she has lost a number of Diamond League races, locally in Kenya and has not been convincing enroute to the final in Tokyo.

To Kenyans, however, the good news is that Chepkoech has been losing to her compatriot Kiyeng.

The duo will be carrying Kenya’s hopes after 2014 Commonwealth winner Purity Kirui failed to make it past the semis on Sunday.

Stiff opposition will be expected from American trio of Olympic bronze medalist Emma Coburn, world silver medalist Courtney Frerichs and Valerie Constein.

Others are Kenyan born Winfred Yavi who will be turning up for Bahrain and Ethiopian youngster Zerfe Wondemagegn.

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