By John Kwoba NAIROBI (Xinhua) --
The 3,000m steeplechase world record holder
Beatrice Chepkoech has thrown down the gauntlet as she focuses
on winning gold for Kenya at the Africa Championships, in Asaba,
Chepkoech, 27, said
her world class performance in Monaco last week was no fluke and
she will be ready to have another fast run in Asaba in the quest
for a slot in the Africa team heading to the IAAF Continental
Cup in the Czech Republic in September.
“Me under pressure?
Not true. I have shown consistency this season and I have no
doubts I will deliver gold for Kenya in the Africa
Championships,” Chepkoech said on Thursday in Nairobi.
Chepkoech was among
the 20 athletes who returned to a training camp on Tuesday to
focus on polishing their skills ahead of the continental
Head coach Stephen
Mwaniki said he has no more concerns as his 65-member team is
injury free as they wind up their preparation ahead of their
departure on Monday.
“We have our job cut
out [for us]. The focus is on us beating our previous
performance in Durban, South Africa in 2016. We have a strong
team, some elite runners coming [back] from injury, keen to
rediscover their groove. That will spur us [on] to do better
beyond the middle and long distance races,” said Mwaniki.
Chepkoech is basking
in the glory of her strong performances this season having won
in Shanghai, Rome and Monaco.
She clocked a world
record time of 8:44:32 slicing eight seconds off Bahraini Ruth
Jebet’s time of 8:52.78.
“I knew I could run
well in Monaco and expected to break the world record. But not
with a wide margin of eight seconds,” adds Chepkoech. “I am
hopeful of a good performance in Nigeria and I am under no
pressure to deliver. It is my own resolution to do well and grow
javelin medalist Yego overcomes injury crisis
By John Kwoba NAIROBI (Xinhua) --
Kenyan Olympic javelin silver medalist Julius
Yego has thrown down the gauntlet and warned his rivals he is
fully recovered and will be firing on all cylinders at the
Africa Athletics Championships.
Speaking to Xinhua
in Nairobi on Tuesday, Yego believes he will reclaim the Africa
title, which he lost in Durban, South Africa in 2016. The
African Senior Athletics Championships will be held in Asaba,
Nigeria from Aug 1-5.
Kenya’s team of 65
athletes is due to leave for Nigeria on Saturday and Yego has
put up his hand up to be counted as a prospective gold medalist.
“It has been a
nightmare period for me ever since I injured myself at the Rio
Olympics. My groin and ankle have been troubling me. But I think
it is going away. I have really worked hard with the
physiotherapist and I feel good. It has been good for the last
six months and what I need is to regain my form,” said Yego on
Tuesday in Nairobi.
Yego holds a
national record of 92.72m, which he registered in 2015 when won
gold at the World Championships in Beijing’s Birds Nest stadium.
He went on to win
silver at the Rio Olympics with one throw before injuring his
groin. The loss of form has seen Yego lose his world title
without a fight in London last year and he has struggled to
throw over 80 meters.
This season, Yego’s
best result has been 80.91m, which he posted at the national
championships in Nairobi. He has had training camps in Finland
and the Czech Republic and believes he is ready for Africa
“It is now much
better and I will use the Africa Championship to rediscover my
form and gain some winning mentality,” he said.
However, Yego feels
Kenya’s athletics officials are not doing enough to support his
cause as he will have to travel to Nigeria without his coach.
“I have always
trained with my coach and he is always an inspiration at major
championships. But I will not have his guidance in Nigeria and
that is not good. I missed him at the Commonwealth Games and
again it will happen at continental level,” he said.
Championships will be used to select the team that will
represent the continent at the IAAF Continental Cup to be held
in the Czech Republic in September.
Only the best two
athletes in each discipline will make the Africa team and Yego
believes he will get his chance and prove to the world he is
back to his best.