Kandie optimistic of win in England
Former World Half Marathon record holder Kibiwott Kandie says Stanley Waithaka has rekindled Kenya’s hopes of winning gold at the Commonwealth Games to be held in Birmingham.
Waithaka on Sunday settled for silver in the ongoing World Athletics Championships in Oregon, United States, after finishing second in the men’s 10,000m race.
The race was won by defending champion Joshua Cheptegei of Uganda.
Kandie now feels he is the man to end Kenya’s 20-year title drought by bagging gold in the men’s 10,000m in the United Kingdom.
“I watched the race in Oregon and it was very tight and close until the end, I felt that Waithaka uplifted the nation and gave us a lot of hope,” said Kandie.
“I have the drive to prove to the world that I can also perform in track, that is why I decided to compete in a 10,000m,” he added.
The quadrennial showpiece is scheduled for July 28 to August 8. Kenya last won a gold medal in the men’s 10,000m during the 2002 Commonwealth Games in Manchester through Wilberforce Talel.
“I am optimistic about returning home with a gold medal. I have invested my time in training, before and after the trials and I believe my dedication will pay off,” said Kandie who is elated to have shaken off a knee injury which has been a nightmare for him since last year.
Kandie won the Kenyan trials last month after clocking 27:33.57. He was however locked out of team Kenya for not attaining the qualification time for Oregon.
Kandie edged out 2018 World Under 20 5,000m silver medalist Stanley Waithaka to second place in 27:34:01.
However, he will only compete in Birmingham, unlike other runners who will also feature in the World Championships in Oregon.
Kandie said he is unperturbed by the threat that has recently been posted by neighbouring Uganda and Ethiopia runners.
He said he believes with teamwork; the gold medal will come back to Kenya.
“I am optimistic that with teamwork and self-belief, we will definitely bring the medal back home. Cheptegei almost lists to our own, so it is game on,” he said.
Kandie will be accompanied by former World Under 20 winner Edward Zakayo and Daniel Simiu in the quest for top honours in Birmingham.