We have slight advantage – Timothy Cheruiyot
World 1,500m Champion Timothy Cheruiyot believes that the high altitude Nairobi weather may give local athletes a slight advantage over their opponents during Saturday’s Kip Keino Classic, a World Athletics Tour event.
Nyayo National Stadium, the venue of the meet is situated at 1,795m altitude and is set to be an interesting experience for most athletes who are visiting the country for the first time and will grace the seventh and final leg of the continental tour event.
Speaking to People Sport on Thursday morning after going through a final training session at the Cambridge International School in Rongai, the Diamond League winner who has had an impressive season at the Monaco and Stockholm meets says he is ready to excite Kenyan fans on Saturday.
“It will be really nice for foreign athletes to train, compete and feel the high altitude conditions in Nairobi and have a taste of what we are used to,” said Cheruiyot.
Cheruiyot who competed in 800m at the Doha Diamond League last week is ecstatic adding that he is in a good shape to give a remarkable performance despite a slight setback in Doha.
“Coming from one of the most uncertainties seasons ever, I think Kenyan fans deserve a great performance to lighten their spirits,” he said.
Despite the the challenging times that has been brought about the Covid-19 pandemic, Cheruiyot is happy with the interest shown by foreign athletes at the event.
“It is nice to see top runners in different events coming to Kenya. It will be an opportunity to market our country and what we are capable of doing,” added Cheruiyot.
He said he would have loved to face the Ingebrigtsens brothers, who unfortunately will not grace the event.
Meanwhile, former World Under 20, 1,500m Champion Kumari Taki is keen to outclass Cheruiyot on Saturday.
Taki who trains at the high altitude Nyahururu Athletics Club yesterday had a feel of the Nairobi weather where he had a light training session with the reigning world champion in Rongai.
While he and Cheruiyot are among the few athletes who have been fortunate to have post-covid 19 races in Europe, he is predicting a tactical race tomorrow with more pressure expected from local athletes who want to make a name for themselves.
“While the attention will be on Timothy and myself to secure a podium finish, one should not underrate the other athletes who have not had major races to be spotted, they are always dangerous because they have nothing to lose. This is like the national trials where alot is at stake,” said Taki.