Kenya’s steeplechase tradition not under threat, assures Kipruto
World and Olympics 3000m steeplechase champion Conseslus Kipruto maintains that he is the country’s best bet for gold at World Championship despite doubts over his form.
Kipruto failed to finish during the National Trials last Friday, the second time in three races the Continental Cup winner had failed to finish, but he is confident of victory in Doha, Qatar especially after recovering from a leg fracture and back injury.
“I know myself better than anybody else can claim to. It has not been an easy season for me, but what I can promise is that I will hit form when it matters most,” said the Africa champion.
“During the trials, I simply wanted to run in front of the Kenyan fans for a few laps then pull out.
I feel my body is responding well. There were similar doubts going to London in 2017, but I proved everyone wrong,” he added.
Kipruto, who has a wild card by virtue of being the defending champion, says the water and hurdles event is traditionally a Kenyan affair and that is how it will be in Doha.
“Kenyans are worried that this is the weakest team going to a major assignment. I urge them to have faith in the team as all of us know what the event means to the country,” said Kipruto.
In Doha, Kipruto will team up with trials winner Leonard Bett, African Games champion Benjamin Kigen and Abraham Kibiwott.
“As we head to camp, we are going to work on tactics because that is one sure way of standing above everyone else.
On the personal front, I want to take more time on my hurdling tactics, “ said Kipruto.
In Doha, strong opposition is expected from newly-crowned Diamond League trophy winner Ethiopia’s Wale Getnet and on-form Soufiane El Bakkali of Morocco.