NAIROBI, Kenya, Jul 28 – Olympic 3000m steeplechase champion Conseslus Kipruto is facing a race against time to shake off injury ahead of the World Championships in London in August.
The 22-year-old Kenyan suffered an ankle injury during the national trials in Nairobi on June 23 and only returned to full training on Friday.
“I am disappointed not to have been able to compete in the Rabat and Monaco Diamond League meetings. I tried to run at the Rabat meeting on July 16, but the pain was too unbearable and I was forced to pull out of the race,” said Kipruto.
“I was able to do my first full training this morning and it went well. We will see how it acts, but I believe I should be fine for the World Championships.”
Kipruto trained at the Kasarani stadium with four-time 3000m steeplechase world champion Ezekiel Kemboi and Jairus Kipchoge Birech.
Kemboi, 35, who was disqualified in the Rio Olympic final last August, will be gunning for an unprecedented fifth title in London.
But he is well aware of the threat posed by America’s Olympic silver medallist Evan Jager, who won his first Diamond League event in Monaco on July 21 in 8:01.29.
“Jager is a very strong athlete” said Kemboi. “We equally have one of the strongest-ever Kenyan line-ups in Conseslus, Brimin Kipruto, Jairus Birech and myself. I believe all of us have the chance to win, but as of now we are still planning.”
Kenya have not missed out on the world 3,000m steeplechase title since 2005 when Kenyan-born Qatari Saif Saaeed Shaheen pushed Kemboi into second place in Helsinki, Finland.
The world championships will be held on August 4-13 at the Olympic Park.
Two years ago in Beijing, Kenya topped the overall medals table.