Chespol, Chebet to make decision on Cross Country after Commonwealth trials


Celliphine Chespol in action at the 2017 IAAF Diamond League meeting in Eugene (PHOTO/IAAF)
Celliphine Chespol in action at the 2017 IAAF Diamond League meeting in Eugene (PHOTO/IAAF)

In Summary

  • World Under- 18 champion Celliphine Chepteek Chespol will make her decision on representing  Kenya at the fifth CAA Africa Cross Country Championships slated for March 17 in Chelf, Algeria after this week's Commonwealth Games trials.
  • Chespol's  main target for the season is the Commonwealth Games.

World Under- 18 champion Celliphine Chepteek Chespol will make her decision on representing  Kenya at the fifth CAA Africa Cross Country Championships slated for March 17 in Chelf, Algeria after this week’s Commonwealth Games trials.

The World U20 steeplechase record holder feels that two weeks might not be enough to recover and prepare adequately for the Commonwealth Games that is scheduled for April 4-15 in Gold Coast, Australia.

“My target is to race at the Commonwealth Games. As such I will be participating in the trials set for this weekend. If I manage to get a slot in Team Kenya for Australia, I will make a decision,” she said in reference to the forthcoming competition in Algeria.

She went on: “I love competing in cross country events because it helps my build-up. For example, last year, I competed at IAAF World Cross Country Championships in Kampala and brought home a bronze medal. That is what resulted in a World under- 20 record in Eugene Diamond League last year because after Kampala I came and worked on speed.

“I had the needed endurance for track due to cross country, ” She said, recalling the famous came back from near-disaster at the penultimate water jump to win in 8:58.78, the second-fastest run of all- time and aworld U-20 record at the Eugene Diamond League in Oregon, USA.

The 18-year-old Chepsol who represented her employer, Kenya Prison Service for the first time during the weekend’s National X-County trials for Algeria said that her main target for the season is the Commonwealth Games, adding that she is also weighing thoughts her World U20 title in Tambare, Finland in July.

” When I finished trials for  London World Championships last year, Catherine  Ndereba approached me we talked and told her that am still in school. That was not a deal breaker for her. She was patient and told me to first complete school. After completing high school she came and picked me and I went to report at the prisons training college in Riuru.   Yesterday I felt proud in their jersey knowing am one of them though am yet to graduate. I shall graduate in March, ” Chepsol told Citizen Digital proudly.

Just like Chepsol, Cali 2015 World U-18 2,000m steeplechase silver medallist, Sandra Felis Tuwei Chebet is also waiting on the Commonwealth trials outcome to make an affirmative decision. However, World U-18 3,000m silver medallist Edward Zakayo is looking forward to doubling both events hoping to redeem Kenya’s medal hope in the men 5,000m.

“My main target is was to get a place in Team Kenya for Africa, am looking forward to competing in the Commonwealth Games too for experience as I hunt a global title in July,” Zakayo said.

Meanwhile, Ambassador Salah Francis Elhamdi welcomed Team Kenya to Chelf, Algeria after enjoying the thrilling action from the country’s  finest athletes competing for limited slots to the team, during the National X-Country championships/trials held at Nairobi’s  Uhuru Gardens on Saturday.

“We are looking forward to hosting Kenya in Algeria. We are very happy on behalf of Africa to host the Africa Cross Country Championships, to receive all those athletes in Algeria and I wish them a very nice stay in my country. Especially for Kenya I would like to see them come get all the trophies,”  said Elhamdi.

Kenya bagged a total of 14 medals, picking eight gold in both individual and team, three silver and three bronze medals in the individual categories two years ago in Cameroon Yaounde.

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Story By Charity Wanja
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