Kigen sets sights on Tokyo Olympics


Surprise Eugene steeplechase winner Benjamin Kigen (PHOTO/IAAF/Victah Sailer)
Surprise Eugene steeplechase winner Benjamin Kigen (PHOTO/IAAF/Victah Sailer)

In Summary

  • African Games 3000m steeplechase champion Benjamin Kigen is keen to make the cut in Kenya’s team for Tokyo Olympics
  • Kigen, who is recovering from a hamstring injury, said he is stepping up his preparations for the Olympics trials that will be held in a fortnight

African Games 3000m steeplechase champion Benjamin Kigen is keen to make the cut in Kenya’s team for Tokyo Olympics.

Kigen, who is recovering from a hamstring injury, said he is stepping up his preparations for the Olympics trials that will be held in a fortnight.

The 27-year-old recently won the Kenya Defence Forces (KDF) Championships last month in 8:31.96 before placing second at the Olympic pre-trials last weekend after timing 8:26.93

Kenya is set to select her team for the Olympics in track and field at the national trials set for June 17-19.

“Right now I am focusing firmly on the Olympic trials. I am slowly regaining my shape after suffering a hamstring injury on my right leg,” said Kigen.

The experienced athlete expects a bruising battle at the trials with only three slots up for grabs with the likes of Olympic champion Conseslus Kipruto, World Under-20 silver medallist Leonard Bett, 2019 World Championships finalist Abraham Kibiwott among a host of other athletes salivating for the slots.

“For the previous events I have not competed at my best level. However, for the remaining time I will be embarking on speed work and I expect to do well at the trials,” he said.

While Kenya’s dominance in the 3000m steeplechase is under immense threat from neighbours Ethiopia who were close to clinching a gold medal at the 2019 World Championships in Doha, Kigen is confident Kenyans will rule once again in Tokyo.

Kenya has been a force to reckon in the water and barrier race at the Summer Games for the last three decades having captured successive gold medals in the men’s race since 1984 Games in Los Angeles all the way to the last edition in Rio, Brazil.

“I know they (Ethiopians) are coming up very well but we are also strong enough. However, we can’t just sit there comfortably, we have to fight to retain our dominance,” added Kigen.

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