I will be back soon, declares 800m ace Jepkosgei


Janeth Jepkosgei waves at the crowd after completing a race. PHOTO/André Zehetbauer from Schwerin, ...
Janeth Jepkosgei waves at the crowd after completing a race. PHOTO/André Zehetbauer from Schwerin, Deutschland

In Summary

Former women 800m World Champion Janeth Jepkosgei is set to return to the track after an extended maternity break since 2016. Jepkosgei, who announced her name in the list of the distances’ greats on August 28, 2007 in Osaka Japan with an emphatic 1:56.04 time to the World Championship gold, is however coy to reveal her new specialty as she vacates 800m. The 2008 Beijing silver medalist has declared her intention to resume in style, once plans for major races are complete.

Former women 800m World Champion Janeth Jepkosgei is set to return to the track after an extended maternity break since 2016.

Jepkosgei, who announced her name in the list of the distances’ greats on August 28, 2007 in Osaka Japan with an emphatic 1:56.04 time to the World Championship gold, is however coy to reveal her new specialty as she vacates 800m.

Eldoret Express, as she would come to be known after outshining legendary Mozambique 800m icon Maria Mutola whose Maputo Express identity was globally a household name, has been quite over time now having skipped major races including the Rio Olympics games in 2016 being expectant.

The 2008 Beijing silver medalist has declared her intention to resume in style, once plans for major races are complete.

Saa hii niko shape (I’m now in good shape), it’s only that their no major events for now but watch out next year, I’m coming back in style. My coach is following closely on my progress, although he is yet to tell me which race I will be competing in,” charged Jepkosgei.

Born 35 years ago in Kabirirsang village near Kapsabet town in Nandi County, Jepkosgei had celebrated athletes to look up to from the town including former 800m world champions Wilson Kipketer and Wilfred Bungei.

She went to Sing’ore Girls High School near Iten, famous for producing female athletes and made impact in the national level immediately winning the national secondary school heptathlon title while still in form one.

In 2002, she won the World Junior Championship in Kingstone Jamaica before cruising to her seniors major in 2006 when she won the Commonwealth Games Gold in Melbourne, Australia.

She went on to cap her year of immense glory by bagging the 800m African title in Bambous, Mauritius, leading to her phenomenal 2007.

Upon her resumption, Jepkosgei is targeting next year’s championship in Doha, Qatar in August.

She is among the elite athletes who have called on Athletics Kenya (AK) to spread out national events across the country instead of hosting them exclusively in Nairobi, seeking to attract more fans while inspiring new talent.

Meanhile, Jepkosgei is full support of her home County Nandi to host the National Cross Country Championship early next year, an event that will also be used to select Kenya’s team for next year’s global championship in Denmark.

“The current County government of Nandi is so committed to sports and I believe can host a very successful event, this is where athletes feel at home, she concluded.

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Story By Philip Muchiri
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