Chepng’etich not bothered by Semenya face-off

Kenya's Faith Chepng'etich Kipyegon reacts after victory in the women's 1500 meters during the Shanghai Diamond ...
Kenya's Faith Chepng'etich Kipyegon reacts after victory in the women's 1500 meters during the Shanghai Diamond League athletics competition in Shanghai on May 13, 2017. / AFP PHOTO / Johannes EISELE

Olympics 1500m champion and World silver medalist Faith Chepng’etich is unfazed the prospect of lining up against South African 800m sensation Caster Semenya at the IAAF World Championships.

Semenya, an Olympic and two-time World champion, recently confirmed she will double up over her specialty and the 1500m ahead of the global showpiece that kicks off Friday in London.

Nonetheless, Chepng’etich who is not short of confidence after clinching the coveted Olympics gold medal last year in says upgrading her 2015 Beijing Championships silver medal to a World title is the only target in mind.

“Semenya, Genzebe Dibaba (Ethiopia) Hassan Sifan (Netherlands) are all in there but this race is a tactical one. I’m not afraid because the outcome of a championship is never known until it’s done. All we have to do is try our best from the qualification rounds to the semis and meet at the finals,” the commonwealth champion said.

Chepng’etich, 23, admitted she carries more pressure being the Olympic champion but emphasized her ability to handle it as well as tipping compatriots led by Winnie Chebet and Sheila Jepletingwill to pick all the available medals at the August 7 1500m finals.

“I thank God for the victory in Brazil. It was my first Olympic Games and my first major competition as a senior. After my win in Rio, electricity was connected to about 30 houses in Keringet where I come from.

“I was happy with the goodies from the Government. I had not expected such noble gesture. This motivated me to work extra hard for London because I do not know what else my people will benefit from if I bring the World title home,” Chepng’etich stated after her training session at the Moi International Sports Center, Kasarani.

Chepng’etich started off her season with the IAAF World Cross Country Championships in Kampala where she was working on her endurance.

She finished eighth in the senior women’s 10km race after stopping the timer at 32:49 as Team Kenya led by Irene Cheptai took all top eight positions in emphatic fashion at the Ugandan capital.

The former World Junior champion has ran twice at the Diamond League Series where she set a world lead of 3:59.22 on May 13. In Paris, she ran a Season Best (SB) of 3: 57.51 behind Sifan Hassan 3: 57.10 of Netherlands before opting to skip the Rabbat and Rome legs.

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