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Zakayo unbroken despite Doha Worlds miss

Edward Zakayo fights to catch up at the Team Kenya trials for the IAAF World Championships on September 12, 2019 at the Nyayo National Stadium. PHOTO/Raymond Makhaya

NAIROBI, Kenya, Sep 12 – Commonwealth Games bronze medalist Edward Zakayo missed out on a place in Kenya’s team for the IAAF World Championships after finishing ninth in the 5,000m final at the trials at Nyayo Stadium on Thursday.

Fresh from being crowned African Games champion in Rabat, Morocco, Zakayo said he was hit by a bout of pneumonia and Malaria and was admitted in hospital prior to travelling to Nairobi for the trials.

“I was unwell when I came back from Morocco and when I went to hospital in Kapenguria, I was diagnosed with pneumonia and malaria. I was admitted for three days and I had just recovered a bit and decided to take the flight to Nairobi for the trials yesterday,” Zakayo told Capital Sport.

“I just wanted to weigh myself with the pace and listen to my body a bit. I started well but halfway through, I couldn’t keep up and I decided to let go a bit and whoever would have won it to win. I am not sad or disappointed at all because even coming here, I knew it was not going to be easy,” Zakayo added.

Kenya’s Edward Zakayo after winning the 5000m bronze Commonwealth Games medal

The 18-year old has had a good spell since winning the World Under-20 Championship and on top of the African Games crown, he also won the African Championship in Asaba, Nigeria last year.

He believes that the setback of failing to earn a ticket to go to Doha will not affect him and he will now focus on his preparations for the Tokyo Olympics where he hopes to make the team and go all the way to win it.

“I don’t count it as a disappointment but for me, this is a challenge to go back and work hard to get back to fitness. My target is the Tokyo Olympics. I not only want to qualify and fly Kenya’s flag but also go there and win. I have the belief that I can,” he said.

Zakayo has not had a busy season and apart from the African Games title in Rabat, he also won the Rabat leg of the IAAF Diamond League in June and was seventh at the Golden Gala in Rome.

Meanwhile, he believes the Kenyan team of Michael Kibet, Daniel Simiyu and Nicholas Kimeli which earned tickets to represent Kenya in Doha will deliver.

“I know they can because they proved here today that they are good athletes. I want to wish them all the best in Doha and let them go beat the Ethiopians and bring this title home,” Zakayo further insisted.

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