NAIROBI, Kenya, July 17- London 2012 bound World Junior Championships medallists, Faith Chepng’etich and Timothy Kitum are gearing up to make an impression when they take on the seniors at the Olympics.
Chepng’etich, a student at the aptly named Winners’ High School, set a 4:04.96 championship record in the women 1500m and is now prepared to fly her nation’s flag when she makes her Olympics debut in the Metric Mile.
“It will be a good thing to compete with the seniors especially the likes of Hellen Obiri in my first attempt at the Olympics
“I’m certain that despite London been a bigger stage, I will match the standards and hopefully, bring a medal back home,” the World Youth 1500m gold winner from Lille added.
Chepng’etich stressed that she was motivated by the prowess of Conseslus Kipruto who won gold in the 3000m SC before her event making her resolve to win her own too when she stepped to the track for her race.
“We had good preparations for the games but for me, when I entered the stadium and saw that Conseslus had got the gold, it gave me energy to go for my win,” she said adding that this time round she will leave her school books back at home to concentrate fully on the Olympics having carried them to Barcelona.
Kitum who clinched sliver in the two-lap race stressed he had learnt his lesson on tactical execution in Spain and will be keen to avoid a repeat of the slip-up that cost him the victory to Botswana’s Nijel Amos who won in another championships record of 1:43.79.
“I will make sure I remain in the front pack throughout the first lap so that I can follow through when we begin the finishing kick
“The advantage I have is that Rudisha is a fast runner so if I keep close to him definitely I’m bound to benefit from his pace and experience,’ he pointed out though easily ruling out the prospect of racing him to the tape.
The two were part of the 25 member strong team that managed a second place behind USA with 13 medals (4 gold, 4 silver and 5 bronze).
World Youth silver medallist Alphonse Kishoyian and Anthony Mweresa will depart for the Olympics Village in London to link up with other sprinters: Vincent Mumo, Benson Mucheru and Vincent Kosgei who are preparing for the 4x400m relay.
At the same time, Athletics Kenya president, Isaiah Kiplagat advised Team Kenya for London 2012 to uphold team work.
“I received some reports that we would have won the 10000m if it was not for the open internal competition within our line-up.
“It’s important we plan how to sustain the team spirit to ensure we bring home all the medals within our ability,” he sensationally claimed in reference to the race won by Yigrem Demelash of Ethiopia at the expense of Philemon Cheboi and Geoffrey Kirui who took the lesser medals.
Kiplagat noted that this was the team the country was likely to send to the next Olympics in Rio, Brazil urging them to keep the training and watch out for dishonest agents on the prowl.
“We urge to make sure you sign for an agent that will help you improve your performance but not subject you to vigorous competition that end up wasting you”
Moreover he in a thinly veiled attack on the National Olympics Committee of Kenya, (NOC-K) lamented on the treatment and handling of athletes a day after the two federations arrived at an agreement on the travel dates for the athletes in the Moi International Sports Centre training camp.
“All over the world, elite athletes are taken care of the respective NOCs but here is Kenya, they only appear to reap where they didn’t sow
“They now want to fight those people who have worked so hard to bring these athletes to their level yet they don’t know how we got them. We won’t agree to these sideshows anymore,” he stressed out.
Team manager Eliud Wambua asked the federation to ensure that the country is able to stay in touch with the growing standards of the sport.
“Out of the eight girls selected, three won gold, while out of the 17 men only one returned with gold
“I believe we have to embark on serious training especially for the male since the competition is heating up on the world stage,” stressed Wambua.
Kiplagat later rewarded the gold medalist with sh30,000 while the silver and bronze winners received sh15,000 and sh10,000 respectively. Every other participant took home sh5,000 for their efforts.
Kenya clinched the overall title during the 14th edition of the championships in Moncton, Canada in 2010 with 15 medals ahead of the USA and Germany.