NAIROBI, Kenya, Feb 15 – Reigning World Junior 800m champion Kipyegon Bett is keen to follow in the footsteps of his idol world record-holder David Rudisha as he prepares to launch into the seniors with his eyes set on securing a place in the Kenyan team for the 2017 IAAF World Athletics Championships in London.
Bett, who won the junior title last year in Bydgoszcz, Poland after beating Compatriot Willy Tarbei, believes he has quality to be the next big thing in the two lap race with Rudisha most likely to retire after the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo, Japan.
“It is a great challenge for me progressing to the seniors from the juniors after the success I have had. It is another challenge and now I want to work harder in training because the intensity is definitely going to rise,” Bett told Capital Sport.
“I want to see whether I can make it to the Kenyan team for the World Championships. I know it is tough racing against very experienced athletes but I am confident I am equal to the task. I don’t fear anybody,” Bett added.
Fresh from celebrating his 19th birthday, Bett has his long shot on the 2020 Olympics where he hopes to win a gold medal and it will most probably be against his role model Rudisha who will be running in a major championship for the last time.
Bett already has the benefit of approval from Rudisha who thinks he is going to be one of the world’s finest athletes and will take up after him.
“I have seen him progress from the youth ranks and I think he has done a really good job. He has what it takes to do well at the senior level and I am confident he has a great future ahead of him. He just needs to keep on working hard because that is what makes all the difference,” Rudisha said of the youngster.
Early this year, Bett was named the 2016 Sports Personality of the Year Most Promising Boy and he believes it will be the launching pad to his career.
“It was the first time ever I received an award and I am hoping that will be my inspiration to work harder in the coming years. The bar has been set high and I can’t manage to go lower,” Bett opined.