I will beat Bakkali,Girma in a month’s time says Kipruto

Tuesday, July 19th, 2022 15:35 | By

On Tuesday morning, Kenya lost her 38-year dominance in the men’s 3000 metres steeplechase after Moroccan Soufiane El Bakkali saved the best for last, sprinting home to beat Lamecha Girma and 2019 champion Conseslus Kipruto to claim gold.

Kipruto back to the track after a two-year layoff through injury, the former Olympic champion who finished fourth during the National trials held in June believes that he is almost hitting his best form and will bring down Bakkali and Girma who have been dominating the distance in the last two years. 

“I was here to defend the title, actually to team up and bring back this glory to the country (Kenya). I gave it all today, I had a lot of plans, actually Ii managed to control the first six laps but the last 150m I developed some issues but getting a bronze after two years is a good result for me,” the Olympic gold medalist said.

Morocco's Soufiane El Bakkali celebrates after winning gold in Oregon PHOTO/World Athletics

“Since I returned to competition, there has been a lot of improvement. Even today we had a plan to run a faster race but i worked alone, we did not assist each other, I looked for the other guys but they were behind but i tried. I can see there is still an opportunity. I’m sure next year we will team up and bring the title back home,” 

“Those guys (Conseslus teammates) are in better shape than me at the moment but only that I am using tactics to beat them. I think if they get tactics from me and gain experience and know how to race championships it will be good and I know they are very strong, they know how to hurdle, they have speed, it's only that they are lacking experience,” he added.

Kipruto however had a special message for the two guys (Bakkali and Girma) who have successfully managed to knock Kenya off her perch in the steeplechase.

“We are going to sit down as steeplechasers and watch these races and know where the problem is and come back next year strong.”

“I still have morale, I will beat these guys (Bakkali and Girma) this year. In one month to come, I will beat them,” he insisted. 

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