Steeplechase champion Chepkoech targets new world record on return

Monday, May 4th, 2020 00:00 |
World 3,000m steeplcehase champion Betrice Chepkoech after winning the 2019 World Championships in Doha. Photo/PD/FILE

Nairobi, Sunday

World 3,000m steeplechase champion Beatrice Chepkoech is accustomed to clearing water jumps and barriers and believes she will certainly clear the coronavirus hurdle to focus on setting a world record.

Chepkoech’s personal best time of eight minutes 44.32 seconds is the current world record, but her hope is to lower it further in 2020 now that the Tokyo Olympic Games have been pushed back to 2021.

Two seasons ago, Chepkoech raised the bar to finish the water and hurdle race by shedding eight seconds off Ruth Jebet’s mark of 8:52.30.

She had her eye on gold medals at the world indoor championships in Nanjing, China and the Tokyo Olympics. The two events have since been canceled due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

“I had a good plan at the start of the season and wanted to boost my speed by competing at the World Indoor Championships in China.

That is why I went for the 1,500m race in the World Indoor Tour,” Chepkoech said on Saturday from Bomet.

Like other athletes, she had to cut short her training as the camp was shut down when Kenya reported its first coronavirus.

Now training alone at home, Chepkoech has not given up hope and has two birds she wants to kill with one stone, setting a faster time should the competition return in late 2020 season and starting off the 2021 season on a strong note, flying to China for the Indoor season and being in peak form for the Olympics.

“There will be a few Diamond League prospects in 2020 and that may offer the chance to try and run faster because most of us are at home doing no competition, so there is no risk of burnout.

But again you don’t want to push your body too much in such a time. We will see how it will go when the sports competition resumes,” she added.

In the meantime, Chepkoech is happy to stay at home in Bomet to try her hand at farming and other chores around the house as she waits for the season to restart. -Xinhua

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