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I’m not a one-hit wonder, says Bett ahead Olympics

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Nicholas Bett celebrating after winning the 400m hurdles totle at 2015 Beijing World Championships.

Nicholas Bett celebrating after winning the 400m hurdles totle at 2015 Beijing World Championships.

NAIROBI, Kenya, July 27- World 400m hurdles champion Nicholas Bett has assured he is in great shape ahead of the Rio de Janeiro Olympic Games despite a slump that has seen him perform dismally in the Diamond League this season.

Speaking to Capital Sport, Bett says he is not a one-hit wonder and he will add on an Olympic medal to his World Championship crown.

“I am well prepared and my body is in great shape ahead of the Olympics. I have worked hard and I am hoping everything goes okay. I am determined to add an Olympic title to my world title and this will be possible in Rio,” the 26-year old said.

He shocked even himself at the Bird’s Nest Stadium in Beijing, China last year when he powered home to the gold medal in a new National Record of 47.79, taking 0.44 off a mark which had stood for 22 years.

The former volleyball player made history by being the first ever Kenyan to win the hurdles world title with his manager Jukka Harkonen describing him as a ‘super machine’.

However, he has failed to replicate the same form in the Diamond League where he has run three races. He finished sixth in Shanghai in a season’s best time of 49.31, two seconds off the time he set in Beijing a year back.

Two weeks later at the Prefontaine Classic in Eugene, USA, Bett finished last, further dipping in a time of 51.33.

World champion Nicholas Bett (left) celebrating with African champion Boniface Mucheru during 2015 IAAF World Championships.

World champion Nicholas Bett (left) celebrating with African champion Boniface Mucheru during 2015 IAAF World Championships.

He improved slightly in the Stockholm leg of the Diamond League in Sweden where he finished sixth in a time of 51.14, but still it was nowhere near convincing of an athlete who carried so much prospect.

He attributes the slump in form to a change in training regime which he says he has restored to the initial plan used ahead of the World Championships in Beijing. He also said running in the Diamond League for his first time was a factor.

“You know, the Diamond League is very different because it is a one off race; there are no qualifiers. It was my first time and so I had to take time to adjust. Also, I changed my training a bit but when I realized it’s not working, I have now reverted to how I trained in 2015 and I feel okay,” Bett added.

He will be joined in Kenya’s team by African champion Boniface Mucheru and his brother Aron Koech and he is confident they will bring the medals home.

Among the athletes topping his worry list is the American duo of Clement Kerron and Tinsley Michael, who have both beaten him in all the Diamond League meets they have faced off.

“I will do wonders in the Olympics, of course but the two Americans have proved to be tough this season. I have used the Diamond League to gauge myself and in training, I have polished all the grey areas and I am confident and ready for Rio,” a confident Bett stated.

The career policeman, a two-time African bronze medalist will be running his first Olympics and is eager to make an impression and show the whole world that indeed, he is no one-hit wonder.

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