(Xinhua) -- World indoor 3,000m bronze
medalist Augustine Choge says he expects Kenyan athletes
to do better than the team he led to this event two
years ago in Portland, Oregon in the United States.
Choge, who led the Kenyan team in
2016, could only secure bronze in the 3,000m men’s race,
while Margaret Nyairera was the other medalist from
claiming a bronze in 800m.
“The team is strong and have shown
consistency in the IAAF Indoor circuit,” said Choge.
“I wish them all the best and [hope they] do better
than the 2016 team.”
The World Indoor Championships will be
held in Birmingham, England from March 1-4.
Former Olympic champion Pamela Jelimo
was the last Kenyan to win the women’s 800m World Indoor
title at the 2012 event in Istanbul, while Caleb
Mwangangi and Hellen Obiri were the last Kenyans to win
the World Indoor 3,000m title during the 2014 run held
in Sopot, Poland.
Both Obiri and Bethwell Birgen secured
their tickets as wild cards, having won the IAAF Indoor
Tour circuit, but youngster Davis Kiplagat will be
making his second show at a big stage after making his
debut at the 5,000m race at the 2017 World Championships
in London. Kiplagat and Birgen will team up in the men’s
Birgen, however, will want to atone
for his loss in 2016 when he failed to reach the final
in men’s 1,500m at the 2016 championships.
“I have gained more experience and
shown [myself] to be resilient in indoor
competition. I hope to do well and reclaim the title
last won by Mwangangi in Poland,” said Birgen.
Another youngster who is eager to get
off the block will be Steeplechaser Beatrice Chepkoech,
who will compete in the 500m.
In the absence of Olympic and World
champion Faith Chepng’ etich, Chepkoech will be Kenya’s
lone wolf in a flock of sheep in Birmingham.
However, there will be no space for
Michael Saruni and Emmanuel Korir, who have been
dominant in the USA Indoor competition over the 800m.
Last month, Saruni, who has been
primed as the heir apparent to Olympic Champion David
Rudisha, set a new world lead over the 600m distance in
In 2017, his compatriot Emmanuel Korir
set a world indoor 600m, but Saruni later replicated the
feat at the Martin Luther King Invitational in