Athletics Athletics

Bett sets sights on Commonwealth gold

Bett who is in his first ever senior appearance in a World Championship is the lone Kenyan in the final after both Emmanuel Korir and Ferguson Rotich failed to make the cut

NAIROBI, Kenya, Aug 12- After bagging bronze at the London IAAF World Championships in the men’s 800m, Kipyegon Bett has now set his sights on 2018 Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast, Australia.

The 19-year old World Under-20 champion hopes he can go for gold in the competition where his role model and the man he is touted to replace, world record holder David Rudisha, is also eying a medal in.

“Getting a bronze on my first ever World Championships is a big achievement. It was tough but I am glad I got something at the end of the day. Now, my target is to continue improving. My next big goal is the Commonwealth Games next year. I want to go for gold,” Bett told Capital Sport from London.

Bett was the only Kenyan in the 800m final on Tuesday and he had to endure a tough finish to win bronze in 1:45.21 ahead of Britain’s Kyle Langford who was cheered on by the home fans. France’s Pierre Ambrose Bosse took gold ahead of Poland’s Adam Kszczot who took silver.

“It was a tough race especially in the final 200m. The athletes were strong and I had to dig deep to make sure I got something. I think that is something I need to work on hard when I get back to training. My finishing kick can be better,” he added.

Bett further revealed that he took advice from Rudisha with whom they had several conversations with prior to his departure to London.

“We talked a lot before going to London because we were training together and he gave me advice. It is sad that he couldn’t be here but all in all, I hope we will be together in the Commonwealth Games,” the youngster revealed.

The bronze medal was a decent gift to an otherwise good season that has seen him win one race on the IAAF Diamond League circuit, powering home first in Shanghai mid May. On top of that, he was part of the silver medal winning Kenyan team at the IAAF World Relays in Bahamas.

He then went on to finish second in Rome, Paris and Rabat and he hopes to climax the season with at least one more win when he lines up in the third last and final legs in Birmingham and Brussels.

“Definitely I want to finish the season strongly. It has been a great one since this was my first and definitely I am proud of what I have achieved. I want to keep on working harder because I have to maintain the same performance. It is not easy but I love challenges,” Bett further added.

Bett has had quite a successful debut in the seniors and he has lived up to the promise he made earlier in the year when he was named most promising male sportsman at the annual Sports Personality of the Year Awards (SOYA).