NAIROBI, Kenya, June 21- Having been the third part in Kenya’s men 1,500m London Olympics horror show, Nixon Kiplimo Chepseba is understandably desperate to repair his reputation at the Moscow World Championships in August.
Teaming up with Beijing 2008 gold medallist, Asbel Kiprop and Commonwealth Games champion, Silas Kiplagat, in the Kenyan Olympics squad for the three and a half lap race, dreams of a first podium sweep in the event history evaporated when they bombed out during the final.
Before finishing in disappointing 11th place in London (3:39.04), Chepseba has blasted to a roaring career best of 3:29.77 at the Monaco leg of the Diamond League only two weeks earlier and it is the exertions of that race that he blamed for his failure to scale the heights at the Olympics.
His maiden Olympics started on a disastrous note when he was floored during his heat, limping home ninth and suffering knee injury in the melee.
Upon being reinstated to the semis on appeal, he ran through the pain barrier to finish fourth and book his place in the final but the pain took his toll forcing him to settle for his lowly finish.
“To me, the season has not gone well. In Eugene it was bad but when I competed in Norway last week, I felt I was coming up despite it being so cold and I ran my seasons’ best,” the Kenya Police runner expressed upon winning his heat in 3:43.3 during the opening day of the Kenyan National Championships in Nairobi on Thursday.
“When I was running in Oslo, I felt comfortable and my legs were moving well so, I can say that I’m recovered.”
With focus turning to Russia, Chepseba underpinned his desire to grab one of the three tickets available in his nation’s team for the worlds where he is plotting to re-establish his reputation among the high table of men 1500m running.
“I’m going for a medal if I make it to go there. I will not go for many races this time like last year since when you are in good shape and go outside, you misuse it,” he stressed.
He admitted the highly charged race in Monaco prior to the Olympics where he chased down compatriot Kiprop to the tape to set the number 2 best time of 2013 contributed to burnout that may have eventually cost him the chance to shine in London.
“That contributed in some ways because Monaco was too near to the Olympics. This year, I have not run many races and I have not used a lot of energy, so this time the energy is there to make the team and do well in Moscow,” he said.
“I’m training without thinking of the injury since that is behind me now.”
Chepseba clocked his season’s best in the mile race on June 13 in the Oslo leg of the Diamond League where he paused the timer at 3:50.95 having finished seventh at the same distance in Prefontaine (June 1) with 3:51.37 on the timer.
He was beaten to second at the Kenyan Police Championships in May as he opened his season after the injury lay-off ruled him out of the opening legs of the Diamond League in Doha and Shanghai.