Kenyan steeplechaser eyes gold medal at Africa Championships

Hellen Obiri flies the Kenyan flag at the IAAF World Championships in London after winning the gold medal in women's 5,000m.


The 3,000m steeplechase world record holder Beatrice Chepkoech has thrown down the gauntlet as she focuses on winning gold for Kenya at the Africa Championships, in Asaba, Nigeria.

Chepkoech, 27, said her world class performance in Monaco last week was no fluke and she will be ready to have another fast run in Asaba in the quest for a slot in the Africa team heading to the IAAF Continental Cup in the Czech Republic in September.

“Me under pressure? Not true. I have shown consistency this season and I have no doubts I will deliver gold for Kenya in the Africa Championships,” Chepkoech said on Thursday in Nairobi.

Chepkoech was among the 20 athletes who returned to a training camp on Tuesday to focus on polishing their skills ahead of the continental championships.

Head coach Stephen Mwaniki said he has no more concerns as his 65-member team is injury free as they wind up their preparation ahead of their departure on Monday.

“We have our job cut out [for us]. The focus is on us beating our previous performance in Durban, South Africa in 2016. We have a strong team, some elite runners coming [back] from injury, keen to rediscover their groove. That will spur us [on] to do better beyond the middle and long distance races,” said Mwaniki.

Chepkoech is basking in the glory of her strong performances this season having won in Shanghai, Rome and Monaco.

She clocked a world record time of 8:44:32 slicing eight seconds off Bahraini Ruth Jebet’s time of 8:52.78.

“I knew I could run well in Monaco and expected to break the world record. But not with a wide margin of eight seconds,” adds Chepkoech. “I am hopeful of a good performance in Nigeria and I am under no pressure to deliver. It is my own resolution to do well and grow my career.”

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