NAIROBI, Kenya, July 20 – Commonwealth Games 1500m champion Faith Chepng’etich is under no pressure to deliver a gold medal for Kenya at the Rio Olympic Games as she readies to face world record holder Gezebe Dibaba.
The world silver medallist will be targeting to win Kenya the first gold medal since 2008 when Nancy Jebet Lagat bagged the title at the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games.
Having tasted victory in international competition after graduating into seniors, Chepng’etich is confident that she will claim the top most podium slot in her specialty in Rio when the athletics schedule get underway August 12.
“I have to maintain my shape to get into the medal bracket in Rio. I will train hard so that I can win easy and that will enable me bring the gold medal to Kenya which has been my dream,” a confident Chepng’etich said.
Gezebe, the World Indoor Champion, who set the 1500m world record of 3.50.08 last year, will be the biggest threat to Chepng’etich, but the 22-year-old says she fears nobody.
“I don’t mind about somebody’s business, I mind about my own. About Gezebe I know she is training and we will meet in Rio,” Chepng’etich, the eighth born of nine children, affirmed.
On her second Olympics participation, Chepng’etich will be out to get one over Gezebe who condemned her to silver at the Beijing World Championships last year.
She will however be inspired by her splendid performance this season so far, where she has lit up this year’s Diamond League circuit, recording national records in Shanghai and Eugene.
Chepng’etich has a season best time of 3:56.41 she clocked in May at Eugene Oregon as well as holding the Kenyan women’s record.
“Making into the team for the Olympics was a great achievement and I want to first make through the stages in Rio after which I will plot my plan for the finals where my target will be gold.”
She represented Kenya at the 2012 Olympic Games in London but was eliminated in the stages.
Chepng’etich, who has gold medals from the Glasgow Commonwealth Games (1500m),world junior 1500m gold in France and Barcelona world youth championships also has another medal from the 4x1500m during the inaugural 2014 world relays in Bahamas.
In Rio, the former two-time world junior cross country champion will be joined by Nancy Chepkwemoi and USA based Viola Lagat in carrying Kenyan flag in the women’s 1500m.
Chepng’etich trains under 2006 European 800m champion Bram Som with the Dutch middle-distance master, who competes as a rabbit on the Diamond League circuit and also coach’s 2013 world youth 1500m champion Robert Biwott, taking her training regimen a notch higher.
Following a first full winter working with Som, Kipyegon, has started her track campaign in stunning fashion, trimming 0.16 from her Kenyan record after running 3:56.82 to claim an emphatic win in Shanghai.
In her very next race she repeated the trick, sprinting away from Dawit Seyaum and Gudaf Tsegay to claim another Kenyan national record of 3:56.41.
Kipyegon will be looking to improve on her performance in London Diamond League this weekend, the last event before athletes turn gear to the Rio Olympics.