Elijah foresees sibling tussle in Manangoi Jr
Freshly minted World 1500m champion Elijah Motonei Manangoi believes it is only a matter of time before his junior brother George Meitamei joins him in the senior ranks and blossom into a force to reckon with.
The impending transition of former Olympic champion and three-time World champion Asbel Kiprop into the 5000m could leave behind a mouthwatering brotherly duel between the Manangois in the three-and-three-quarter lap race.
Both have tasted the feeling of being top of the world but it was the junior Manangoi that got there first having triumphed at IAAF World U18 Championships held on home soil before his brother conquered a rich London field to attain similar glory.
“He is coming up very well. He has amazing strength and focus. Sooner or later he will be running alongside me and the rest. He has advantage in the mentorship he enjoys. Talent, hard work in training and passion are the key secrets of success,” Manangoi said.
After winning Kenya’s first gold at the Kasarani Stadium during last month’s World Under-18 Championships, George credited his success to mentorship from his elder brother.
“He told me, ‘let’s start training’. At school I was not very interested in athletics, but he inspired me. Together with my coach, they have been encouraging me and advising me on how to train,” George told IAAF website post-race.
-Kiprop Elijah’s mentor-
Elijah narrated excitedly his feeling after upgrading his Beijing 2015 silver to gold in London, a year after failing to shine at the Rio Olympics. Even humbling was dethroning his ‘mentor’ Kiprop who was seeking a record fourth straight title at the English capital.
“I cannot exactly explain how I felt. Tactically I got it right; sparing energy in the heats and coming to the finals I was strong enough. I thank everybody who made this possible, it is like a dream. I particularly thank Asbel for mentoring me,” Manangoi offered.
The soft spoken athlete says he now has a crack at the world record among his plans, but is under no pressure to lower the current record set by former World and Olympic champion Moroccan Hicham El Guerrouj in 1998.
“My target next year is to run between 3:25 and 3:26. For this season, before it ends, I think I can run faster than I have done so far,” he remarked.
Guerrouj’s 19-year record of 3:26.00 was set in Rome, on July 14, 1998.
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