Runner keen to earn Kenya elusive gold in women’s event in Tokyo

Wednesday, July 14th, 2021 00:00 |
Hyvin Kiyeng competes in the 3000M steeplechase women final at the Diamond League track and field meeting in Stockholm on July 4, 2021. Photo/AFP

Amos Abuga @Amokc1oo1

Former World steeplechase champion Hyvin Kiyeng is saddened that Kenya has never won a gold medal in the women’s 3,000m steeplechase at the Olympics.

It is a complete irony given that in the men’s event, Kenya has made the event its own, winning the  race in 11 Olympic Games editions - from Mexico City 1968 to Rio 2016.

Kiyeng says while the women’s event only debuted at the Beijing Games in 2008, it is baffling that no Kenyan woman has ever won the event.

Kiyeng, the Olympics silver medallist, world champion Beatrice Chepkoech and 2014 Commonwealth Games champion Purity Cherotich Kirui will be seeking history when the Games commence in under two weeks.

Of the Kenyans, it is Kiyeng who is riding on immaculate form going to the Games.

She humbled Chepkoech in the last two Diamond League meetings besides emerging victorious in the Kenyan trials last month as well as the KipKeino Classic last October.

On Friday, the 2015 world champion warmed up for the Olympics Games with a solid performance at the Monaco Diamond League.

She won the race in 9:03.82 beating the world record holder Chepkoech who came second in 9:04.94 for the second time in less than a week.

“I feel great going to the Olympics is such a good form. I feel that we also have a strong team to make history at the Olympics,” said Kiyeng who in the previous Diamond League meeting in Stockholm  shattered  the meet record to win the race in 9:04.34 as Chepkoech finished a distant third.

Elevating her silver medal to gold is something she is keen on. She believes Kenyan girls will stop American and Ethiopian aggression in Tokyo.

“Of Course beating Beatrice is special because no woman has dominated the race more than her in the last three years.

As Team Kenya, we will now sit down and focus on how we can appear on the podium in Tokyo. I want to improve on my performance in Rio,” disclosed the 29-year-old.

In Tokyo, stiff competition is expected from America’s 2017 world champion Emma Coburn and silver medallist Courtney Frerichs.

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