By John Kwoba NAIROBI (Xinhua) --
World Youth steeplechase champion Celliphine
Chespol of Kenya will skip the Africa Cross Country
Championships if she makes the Commonwealth Games team.
Chespol, 19, braved
a spirited challenge from Africa 10,000m champion Alice Aprot
and Stacy Ndiwa to claim a third place finish during the Kenya
trials for the Africa cross.
Now she will have
another opportunity to showcase her skills and mark her
territory in the senior ranks when Kenya trials for the
Commonwealth Games are held on Saturday in Nairobi.
“I feel the
preparations from Cross Country has helped me improve and
develop my endurance and I will be happy to make it to the
Commonwealth Games team,” she said Monday in Nairobi.
Only two weeks
separate the Africa Cross Country in Chelf, Algeria (March 17)
and the Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast, Australia (April
This will be
immediately followed by the grueling IAAF Diamond League meeting
in May. Chespol represent another success story of Kenya’s
Last year in May at
the Diamond League meeting in Eugene, U.S., the Kenyan stunned
world record-holder Ruth Jebet of Bahrain to announce her
arrival with a 8:58.78 mark, which was the second-fastest run of
all time and a world U20 record.
And with Jebet not
expected at Africa Cross Country, Chespol believes she will have
better chance to progress and inscribe her name in Kenya’s hall
of fame should she go on to win gold in Gold Coast in the water
and hurdles event.
“I believe the
caliber of competition in Gold Coast will be tough and I don’ t
think the two week period separating the two events is enough
for me to recover and from Africa Cross to run well in
Australia. I must make decision on which race to compete in,”
tested glory at cross country when she won bronze in junior
women at last year’s World Cross Country Championships in
Commonwealth Games Chespol is keen to compete at the Diamond
League and the World Junior Championships in Tampere, Finland in
July. The World Junior championship is open to athletes below 20
years of age.