Chepng’etich backs Team Kenya to soar in Kampala


Two-time World Cross junior champion, Faith Chepng’etich leads Lilian Kasait (centre) and Alice Aprot ...
Two-time World Cross junior champion, Faith Chepng’etich leads Lilian Kasait (centre) and Alice Aprot during the senior women 10km race at the 2017 National Cross Country Championships at Uhuru Gardens in Nairobi on February 18, 2017. The trio made the senior women squad for the 2017 IAAF World Cross in Kampala. Photo/Oliver Ananda/www.sportpicha.com

Rio Olympics gold medalist Faith Chepng’etich Kipyegon says she is unfazed by the stiff competition expected from naturalised Kenyan runners at the forthcoming World Cross Country Championships in Kampala, Uganda.

Chepngetich, a former two-time World Cross junior champion is confident the home team will triumph at the competitions slated for March 26.

“The senior races will be very competitive because the rest of the teams will be targeting Kenya. All we have to do is concentrate on our training and strategize on the race. How we work as a team will matter because slight mistake could prove costly,” Chepng’etich who is also the assistant captain for Team Kenya said.

Chepng’etich will be going for first long run as a senior having represented the country thrice as a junior; twice in Bydgoszcz, Poland and in Punta Umbria,Spain  during the 2010, 2011 and 2013 editions.

The 23-year-old added she will be using the event to enhance her preparations for the August World Championships London, England.

“There will be a lot of pressure in London since I will be going there as an Olympics champion. Cross country is perfect for me because it helps me improve on my endurance.

“In Beijing, I managed to get a silver but this time round with God’s grace I hope to win the world title,” she said during the launch of Team Kenya training camp at St Mark Teachers Training College in Kigari, Embu County.

She lost gold to world record holder Ethiopian Genzebe Diaba (4:08.09) at the 2015 World Championships in Beijing, China as she settled for second in 4:08.96.

Ethiopian Dutch Sifan Hassan clocked 4:09.34 for third place.

Team Kenya topped the world with a total of 16 medals; seven gold, six silver and three bronze medals.

A year later during the 2016 Summer Games Chepng’etich returned the favour by stunning the World Champion to an Olympics gold.

Genzebe settled for a silver as American Jennifer Simpson settled for a bronze medal.

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