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Articles tagged #Conseslus Kipruto
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Athlete Refugee team member Nait-Hammou on his half marathon championships debut

Athlete Refugee Team member Otmane Nait-Hammou is making a habit of rubbing elbows with some of the world's finest runners at World Championships.

In Doha last year, he lined up next to reigning world and Olympic champion Conseslus Kipruto in the opening round of the 3000m steeplechase. On the Gdynia start line, he stood should-to-shoulder with Joshua Cheptegei, the world record holder in the 5000 and 10,000m.

"If it's destiny or luck I don't know,” he says, laughing when reminded of the company he’s managed to keep at the start lines of his last two World Championship appearances. "It's an honour for me and I feel really proud.”

He’s also taking great pride in what he managed to achieve in Gdynia representing the Athlete Refugee Team.

On Saturday, Nait-Hammou wasn’t the same athlete he was a year ago in the Qatari capital. There, starry-eyed and overwhelmed, he tumbled to the track on the first lap of his race and was the last to finish, more than 70 seconds after Kipruto. In Gdynia, he finished 67th in the field of 122, clocking 1:03:28 in his competitive debut over the distance, beating some of the world’s finest half-marathoners in the process.

The difference? Taking to the line as a fledgling professional athlete, both in practicality and in attitude.

An opportunity to train like a professional

Nait-Hammou began running in his native Morocco in 2012, a passion he continued to feed even when life threw challenges in his path. He went to France in 2015 to pursue his studies, but, unable to return to Morocco, he made the difficult decision to apply for asylum. That road took him to Sweden in 2016 where he watched, on a television in a refugee centre, a team of refugee athletes competing at the Rio Olympics.

Those moving images fuelled his imagination and his motivation. Three years later he himself would compete twice on the international stage, first at the World Cross Country Championships in Aarhus, Denmark, then again in Doha, modest outings that nonetheless helped him step up to the next level.

“A lot of things changed over the past year,” Nait-Hammou says. “I have a lot of solidarity and support that has changed my life." That includes sponsorship arrangements with On, his apparel sponsor, with the energy gel Maurten, from his French club ES Sartrouville and ongoing development support from World Athletics and Olympic Solidarity.

Together, he says, "these things have given me more confidence and motivation and excitement to train very hard, to push very hard in training. It's a huge difference from when you come to participate and when you come to perform.”

His increasingly professional arrangement allowed him to attend a training camp for the first time, a month-long stint at altitude in Font-Remeu, France, in July and August where he logged 150 to 160 kilometres per week for four straight weeks. It was a type of training he’d never attempted before. “The first week was tough. I was really tired. But then the second week was better, and the third even better.”

It also brought results. On 29 August, he improved his steeplechase best to 8:51.07 at a French regional meeting in Decines Charpieu, his first race in seven months. Two weeks later he finished seventh at the French championships. In between he won a regional 10km in 30:50.

All that set him up well for Gdynia.

“I felt confident at the start line, because I had the opportunity to train and prepare like a professional. That made a big change in my life and my approach. I can see in training that I am getting better. I'm not the same person I was in Doha.”

“I never ran under 30 minutes. Never. I'm still in shock. I still haven't realised what I’ve done. I broke my 10k PB inside a half marathon. In my first half marathon. And in a world championship. It's crazy.”

"I'm starting to think about doing some really strong training this winter for a good marathon early next year," he says, and then focus on the steeplechase during the track season. "I want to go to the marathon for a new adventure. I am excited and motivated for that.

“I'm not thinking the same after Gdynia,” he continues. “I hope I gave the inspiration to other refugees to do better than me in the next World Championships.

“I didn’t come this time to participate. I came to perform. We get the support from World Athletics, from my sponsors, to come to the World Championships, so I wanted to show that we can perform like other athletes. That refugees can be like normal people.

"I beat some Swedish athletes, I beat some Spanish runners. I beat some of the best athletes from other countries, who are all very good athletes. I feel really proud of that and that I was able to represent 69 million people from around the world, to show that we can do it.”

(10/20/2020) Views: 70 ⚡AMP
by World Athletics
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World Half Marathon Championships

World Half Marathon Championships

The first one was first held in 1992. The collaboration with the world half marathon championships allows the Trinidad Alfonso Foundation to continue its strategy of supporting sports events that help to position València as the city of running. It has been the main contributor to the Valencia Marathon and Half Marathon for the past five years. The Spanish Federation...

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World champions Timothy Cheruiyot and Conseslus Kipruto are planning to raise the bar in the 800m and 1,500m respectively at the Doha Diamond League meeting on Friday

The world and Olympic 3,000m steeplechase champion Kipruto, who missed the opening leg of Diamond League series in Monaco in August after testing positive for COVID-19, will return to action after shaking off the virus.

However, the 25-year-old Kipruto will be competing in an unfamiliar event in Doha, when he takes on compatriot Brimin Kipruto, Vincent Kibet and Bethwell Birgen in the men's 1,500m event.

"I am glad to have been declared fit to compete after missing the opening leg of the series. I am also excited to compete in the 1,500m, I am really looking forward to running the shorter distance on Friday," Kipruto, who boasts a personal best of 3:39.57 in the 1,500m told Xinhua on Tuesday.

Cheruiyot, the world 1,500m champion, will race over 800m. The 24-year-old has a personal best of 1:43.11 in the event from August 2019 during the Kenyan national championships in Nairobi.

He clocked an impressive 3:28.45 to win the 1,500m in Monaco, just four one-hundredths of a second outside his lifetime best.

Cheruiyot will contest the event with fellow Kenyans including the world 800m bronze medalist Ferguson Rotich and Commonwealth Games 800m champion Wycliffe Kinyamal.

Both Kinyamal and Rotich boast personal bests of 1:43.12 and 1:42.54 respectively in the 800m.

"It's good to try other events, but I haven't run an 800m event outside Kenya and I will be happy to register good times and compete against the events specialist," Cheruiyot told Xinhua.

There will be an exciting lineup in the women's 3,000m. The event will consist of Kenyan quartet Hellen Obiri and Beatrice Chepkoech, 2019 world champions over 5,000m and 3,000m steeplechase respectively, in addition to Olympic 3,000m steeplechase silver medalist Hyvin Kiyeng, and world 5,000m runner-up Margaret Chelimo.

The world 10,000m bronze medalist Agnes Tirop of Kenya will also spice up the 3,000m event.

After running 2:29.15 for the 1,000m in Monaco, narrowly missing the world record in the process, Kenyan Faith Kipyegon, the Olympic 1,500m champion will return to her specialty, the 1,500m.

(09/22/2020) Views: 96 ⚡AMP
by Xinhua News
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Kenyan Conseslus Kipruto now declares next target, after beating Covid-19

World and Olympics 3,000 meters steeplechase champion Conseslus Kipruto is now raring to go after beating Covid-19.

The athlete tested positive for coronavirus three weeks ago, but has now returned a negative test for the virus and cleared to resume training.

Kipruto, who was due to start his season at the Monaco Diamond League, was forced to skip the race after contracting the deadly virus.

The Mosoriot-based Kipruto is focusing on his training as he looks forward to a better season after missing his first race.

“I’m happy because I have now been given clean bill of health after numerous tests which all turned negative. I have started training while following protocols from the Ministry of Health. My target is to improve my performance,” said Kipruto.

Kipruto will be waiting to get invitation from the Diamond League races where he hopes to lower the world record currently held by Kenyan-born Qatari Saif Saaeed Shaheen formerly known as Stephen Cherono of 7:53.63.

“My target this season is to run a world record time. With good preparations, I know it will be possible. The record has been there for a very long time and I need to bring it home,” he said.

He had been cleared to run.

Kipruto was among the 15 athletes who had been cleared to compete in Monaco Diamond League in France after getting special dispensation visas to travel to the Principality.

He said when he received the results, he went into isolation at his home where health officials have been visiting him to offer him guidance on how to manage the virus.

“It has been hectic for me but I’m happy because I didn’t have any complications until I was declared fit to go on with my life. I have been training alone jumping the barriers which I had created at home before.

“I watched the Monaco race on television and I was impressed with how the athletes are still strong despite taking a break due to the virus which disrupted sporting events across the globe,” said Kipruto.

Athletes invited to compete abroad are supposed to undergo mandatory tests for Covid-19 72 hours before competing in any race.

Kipruto is also eyeing the Kip Keino Classic which shall be held on October 3 at Nyayo National Stadium in Nairobi.

(08/31/2020) Views: 117 ⚡AMP
by Bernard Rotich
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Moroccan steeplechaser Soufiane El Bakkali has huge admiration for Kenyan athletes.

In fact, as the delayed elite season opened with the Monaco Diamond League meeting last week, El Bakkali was excited upon seeing the Kenyan contingent at the Stade Loius II in the heart of the principality.

“The men from Africa!” he screamed and then posed for selfies with the Kenyan delegation headed by coach Bernard Ouma.

“He actually asked for the group photo on our way out of the track,” Ouma added, describing the Moroccan as an “amiable character.”

“We had our last breakfast together in Monaco on Sunday on his way to Paris,” Ouma added on Thursday.

First-placed Morocco's Soufiane El Bakkali competed in the men's 3,000 metres steeplechase event during the Diamond League Athletics Meeting at The Louis II Stadium in Monaco on August 14, 2020.

The 24-year-old Moroccan has now expressed his interest in running with the Kenyans at the October 3 Kip Keino Classic leg of the World Athletics Continental Tour at the Nyayo National Stadium.

This sets up a potentially mouthwatering race given that El Bakkali ran the season’s best (world lead) time of eight minutes, 8.04 seconds to win in Monaco ahead of Kenya’s Leonard Bett (8:08.78).

Morocco's Soufiane El Bakkali (top photo) celebrates after winning the men's 3,000 metres steeplechase event as second-placed Leonard Bett of Kenya looks on during the Diamond League Athletics Meeting at The Louis II Stadium in Monaco on August 14, 2020.

Down with Covid-19, Kenya’s world and Olympic champion Conseslus Kipruto should be fit by then to set up a classic from 4.23pm at Nyayo National Stadium on October 3, according to the draft programme of events. “El Bakkali’s management say he wants to fly from the Doha Diamond League meeting (September 25) direct to Nairobi,” Kip Keino Classic meet director Barnaba Korir confirmed on Thursday. “We are finalising the arrangements for him and this (steeplechase) definitely should be one of the highlights of the Kip Keino Classic.”

With, bizzarrely, Morocco having failed to win a gold medal at the Olympic Games since the legend Hicham El Guerrouj struck a 1,500, and 5,000m double in Athents 16 years ago, the north African nation is banking on El Bakkali to pan the elusive medal at the Tokyo Games, now shifted to next summer.

Olympics 3,000m steeplechase champion Conseslus Kipruto (right), and another athlete during training at St Francis Cheptarit High School in Mosoriot, Nandi County on August 06. 

El Bakkali (PB 7:58.15) won silver at the 2017 World Championships in London and followed up with bronze in Doha last year, finishing behind Kipruto and Ethiopia’s Lamecha Girma whom he could face at the Kip Keino Classic on October 3.

He was fourth at the 2016 Rio Games and was the only Moroccan athlete signed up by Visa (credit card) in its promotions for Tokyo 2020.

On Thursday, Ouma, who is preparing his athletes for this weekend’s second Diamond League meeting in Stockholm, said there could also be a possibility of bigger names coming to Nairobi in October.

“It (Kip Keino Classic) will be a very entertaining meet,” he summed it up.

(08/21/2020) Views: 94 ⚡AMP
by Elias Makori
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Joshua Cheptegei will be eyeing the 5000 meters winner's prize in Monaco when he returns to the Diamond League this weekend

Unlike previous years, the Diamond League 2020 will not be a structured series of events leading to a final. Due to the coronavirus upheaval, only 11 instead of the planned 15 athletics meetings will take place this season.

There are all signs that Lady Luck will again smile at Cheptegei in the same European city-state where he broke 5km road world record early this year.Cheptegei, together with fellow world champion Halima Nakayi (1000m), Winnie Nannyondo (1000m), and Samuel Kisa (5000m) were flagged off by First Lady and Sports Minister Janet Museveni Saturday.

"Please take care to protect yourselves from COVID-19, remember that self-discipline is a big factor in the fight against this virus. God be with you," said Janet Museveni as she handed the athletes the national flag.

The Ugandans were, according to Monaco procedure, first subjected to a mandatory COVID-19 test.

Steeplechase star Conseslus Kipruto from Kenya failed the test and will accordingly miss the Monaco Diamond League event.The Ugandans left on a Uganda Airlines chartered flight to Nairobi on Saturday, then another to Monaco ahead of the August 14 event.

The race organizers of the Monaco event chartered the flights for the 10 Kenyan and four Ugandan athletes.The men's events in Monaco include 200m, 800m, 1,500m, 5,000m, 110m hurdles, 3,000m steeplechase, and pole vault, while women will compete in 100m, 400 m, 1,000m, 5,000m, triple jump and high jump.

Organizers also confirmed that top athletes including women's world record holder, triple jumper Yulimar Rojas from Venezuela, Dutch 1,500m world champion Sifan Hassan, 10,000m world champion Joshua Cheptegei and French hurdler Pascal Martinot-Lagarde will partake of in the events.

On June 26th, the Diamond League canceled its meets in Paris, France, and Eugene, in the United States because of the current restrictions on mass gatherings and international travel due to the coronavirus menace the world over.

Due to the global outbreak of the fatal respiratory disease, the Diamond League season could not start as planned in Doha on April 17.

Meetings have since been canceled in London, Rabat (in Morocco), and Zürich (in Switzerland) which was originally scheduled to host the season finale in September - while other events on the calendar were postponed due to the pandemic.

(08/10/2020) Views: 145 ⚡AMP
by James Bakama
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World and Olympic steeplechase champion Conseslus Kipruto tests Covid-19 positive

World and Olympic steeplechase champion Conseslus Kipruto’s bid to kick-start his season has suffered a major blow after he was ruled out of next week’s Monaco leg of the Diamond League after testing positive for Covid-19.

Kipruto revealed the setback to Nation Sport on Saturday, a day after completing his preparations for 3,000 metres steeplechase race at Monaco’s Stade Louis II where he had promised a sub eight-minute run.

Kipruto, 25, was among 15 Kenyan athletes who had been cleared to compete in the Monaco leg after getting special dispensation visas to travel to the Schengen area.

Kenya is among countries whose nationals have not been cleared to travel into European Union nations owing to the Covid-19 pandemic.

The athletes were, however, cleared to travel after Sports Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohamed and Athletics Kenya President Jack Tuwei intervened on their behalf at the Embassy of France in Nairobi.

The athletes travelling to Monaco are, however, still required to undergo a Covid-19 test 72 hours before the trip.

The rest of the contingent is expected to travel to the principality on Monday.

Kipruto disclosed that he was tested on Thursday at Eldoret’s Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital and the results turned out out positive.

"It's indeed sad that the test came back positive. I don't know where I got it because I have been following the guidelines set by the Ministry of Health," Kipruto told Nation Sport on Saturday.

He said that he was waiting for the officials from the hospital to give him the way forward on management of the condition.

"I am in contact with officials from the hospital and I'm waiting for them to give me the way forward. I don't feel anything (symptoms) for now," said Kipruto.

Kipruto was expected to line up in the steeplechase on Friday alongside compatriots Abraham Kibiwott and Vincent Kipchumba, a pacesetter.

He had told Nation Sport on Thursday that he was keen on building up speed with the world record in his specialty his ultimate goal.

“I have had enough time to train since March when all the races were cancelled owing to the coronavirus pandemic. I am happy I was invited for the Monaco race. I’m looking forward to the race which I want to run under eight minutes,” Kipruto had said on Thursday.

The world record is held by Kenya-born Qatari Saif Saaeed Shaheen (formerly known as Stephen Cherono) at seven minutes, 53.63 seconds.

“I will be using the race to gauge my performance as I prepare to lower the world record time which has been out of the country for a long time. If I’m the Olympic and World champion, what makes it hard for me to break the world record?” posed Kipruto on Thursday.

(08/08/2020) Views: 126 ⚡AMP
by Bernard Rotich
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Taking all safety precautions, Turku and Monaco are ready to kickstart the international season

After a delay of more than three months, the World Athletics Continental Tour Gold meeting series kicks off on Tuesday (11) with the Paavo Nurmi Games in Turku, Finland. Three days later, the Herculis EBS Meeting in Monaco will signal the start of the scaled down 2020 Wanda Diamond League season.

As recently as two months ago, with event postponements and cancellations becoming the norm, it began to seem more and more unlikely that any season would emerge from the havoc that the coronavirus pandemic has left in its wake. But Jean-Pierre Schoebel and Jari Salonen, respectively the directors of the Monaco and Turku meetings, saw things differently.

From the beginning of the pandemic, both have continued their work under the assumption that their events would go ahead. Instead of waiting until next year, Salonen pushed his meet back two months, hoping the situation would improve. Schoebel too, bided his time. Lockdown restrictions in the Principality eventually eased, paving the way for his meet, like Turku’s, to go on after all, albeit under strict conditions.

“Life is beginning to start again,” Schoebel said. “The Herculis EBS meeting in Monaco gives the possibility to show that, yes we have been confined, but now life is starting again and that we can live again.” 

But in order to do that, Schoebel added, “We have changed everything,” from the athletes’ travel and accommodation logistics to the way the competition will be staged and conducted. “We studied everything to ensure we'd provide the maximum security to everyone involved in the meeting.”

‘We've never worked as hard as this year’

Staging an international competition has its challenges under the best of times. Throw in a slew of unprecedented public health and safety concerns, global travel restrictions and painful budget cuts, and you find yourself facing a near impossible chore.

“We’ve never worked as hard as this year,” Schoebel said. “I can't tell you how difficult the situation has been.”

Especially with bringing athletes from the United States, Kenya and Uganda, for example, countries that are not yet on the European Union’s Schengen Area “safe” list, therefore limiting non-essential entry.

For months Schoebel and his team have worked closely with French and Monegasque authorities investigating ways to secure entry visas and formulate transport options for athletes arriving from outside of the European Union.

Mandatory testing in Monaco, selective in Turku

But the athletes, who include world and Olympic steeplechase champion Conseslus Kipruto, women’s steeplechase world record holder Beatrice Chepkoech and world 5000m champion Hellen Obiri, will have to adhere to strict health protocols prior to and upon arrival in Monaco. All will be tested for Covid-19 prior to departure and will be required to take another test upon arrival in Monaco before they’re cleared to compete.

Schoebel said he’ll require all athletes, even those arriving from within the European Union, to follow a strict testing protocol.

For Salonen and his team in Turku, the regimen won’t be quite as demanding since very few athletes will be arriving from outside of the Schengen zone.

“We made a decision quite early that we would concentrate on athletes coming only from Europe or within the Schengen area, to minimise the risk.”

Athletes arriving from countries not on Europe's current list of “safe” countries will be tested, he said.

“We will also be ready to test on-site. Finland is considered a very safe country, from our authorities’ point of view, so we are very careful with those coming from the other countries.”

Cooperation

The testing in Turku is also being organised with the Herculis meeting in mind.

"We have also agreed to help Monaco with some athletes, to test them in Turku in order for Monaco to know that healthy athletes are coming from Finland,” Salonen said. “I think this is very important, that meetings work together in order to make sure that athletes are healthy during the tour, and therefore the meet organisers can be more safe. 

Both are expecting a similar number of athletes, Turku about 150 athletes across 12 disciplines, including 50 to 80 from outside of Finland, and Monaco between 140 and 150 across its 14 events. All will be more or less secured in the meeting bubble from arrival until departure.

Confined to the bubble

To help maintain that bubble, Monaco organisers switched hotels this year, choosing to accommodate the athletes at the Riviera Marriott located across the street from the Stade Louis II, keeping everything and everyone within walking distance.

“And from the hotel they will have direct access to the warm up track. It's very convenient, they won't see or interact with anyone.”

Similarly in Turku. 

While there will be some doubling up in rooms, mostly among athletes who train or travel together, there will be more single accommodations than in other years, Salonen said.

“The main idea is to try to isolate the athletes from all the other personnel who are not involved with them, as well as the public and media. That is the main idea in our programme. From the transport to the hotel and from the hotel to the stadium area, we will maximise the isolation, therefore secure the social distancing.”

That also means that any pre- and post-meet press conferences and media interviews at both competitions will be held virtually or individually with strict distancing protocols.

Social distancing on the programme 

Social distancing regulations have also forced logistical changes within the stadium, particularly in Monaco, for both athletes and spectators. The call room area, where athletes gather just prior to their race, is too small to meet current social distancing guidelines, so it was moved to the stadium’s infield. That move forced the long throw events off of the programme this year.

Schoebel said his team worked closely with Salonen's when formulating their respective programmes, which ensured that a strong slate of throws events would be available in the Finnish meet that week.

Salonen said that as of 1 August, Finland will no longer mandate limits on outdoor gatherings. But to play it safe, and to serve as an example, Turku will voluntarily cap attendance at between six and seven thousand, roughly half of the sell-out crowds the meeting typically attracts.

Monaco, on the other hand, will allow a maximum of 5000 spectators who will be directed towards their seat through seven of the stadium’s gates. They will be seated in every other row and will be obliged to wear masks. Concession stands will be closed but spectators will be allowed to bring bottled water.

Budget cuts

Another factor shared by both meetings are vastly reduced operating budgets this year. Salonen said his was cut by about 25%, while Schoebel said his was slashed nearly in half. But both say that they’re glad they will be able to provide athletes with a paycheck.

“Of course we want to help them as much as we can,” Schoebel said. “And we're pleased that we can give prize money and some appearance money.”

Albeit less than in the past. But Salonen is quick to add that managers and athletes have been very understanding of the financial situation the pandemic has sown. “We’ve had no problem with our negotiations this year. Athletes are craving competition.”

Minimising the risk

Yet for all the precautions, risks do remain. That’s part of the game right now, one that both are confident they’re going to win.

“I think that all we can do is to minimise the risk,” Salonen said. “With the (good) situation that we have in Finland at the moment, the possibility of the virus coming to us is very, very, very low if we use the protocol we have built - to bring healthy athletes to Turku, so that they can leave healthy. The existence of corona in Turku at the moment is almost zero. And we need to make sure we can keep it that way.”

“We're making a big effort as we know the athletes want to get back into competition,” Schoebel said. “And I hope we will succeed.”

(08/07/2020) Views: 95 ⚡AMP
by World Athletics
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World 5,000m champion Hellen Obiri pulls out of Monaco event

World 5,000m champion Hellen Obiri won’t take part in women’s 5,000m race during the Monaco leg of the Diamond League on August 14.

Obiri, the Africa and Commonwealth champion, said it will not be possible for her to compete efficiently having not trained and tested track since retaining her World 5,000m title on October 5, last year in Doha.

Obiri and Conseslus Kipruto (3,000m steeplechase), were among five world champions, who have been lined up by the organizers of the Herculis EBS meeting.

“You can’t go to such an event without having done speed work. We were hoping venues like the Nyayo National Stadium or Moi International Sports Center, Kasarani could be opened for us, but it has not happened,” said Obiri. 

Obiri, who is also the Continental Cup champion, said her only hope this season is the Doha leg that will go down on October 9.

The last time Monaco hosted a long distance track event for women was in 2017 where Obiri won the 3,000m race.

Sporting facilities in the country have remained closed since March this year after the government announced measure to curb the spread of novel coronavirus.

Before Doha, Obiri will line up for the Kip Keino Classic, one of the World Athletics Continental Tour events due September 24 in Nairobi.  

Katarina Johnson-Thompson, the world champion in the heptathlon, will compete in the high jump, her best individual discipline.

Another middle distance star announced is Halimah Nakaayi of Uganda, the surprise 800m champion in Doha last year. 

Organizers also announced that Noah Lyles, the World 200m champion, will headline his favorite event. 

Others on the slate include world pole vault record-holder Armand Duplantis; Laura Muir of Great Britain, who will race over 1000m; and Germany's Konstanze Klosterhalfen, the European indoor 5000m record-holder.

(07/17/2020) Views: 148 ⚡AMP
by Ayumba Ayodi
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Kenyan Rodgers Kwemoi Chumo says that Coronavirus paused his marathon debut

Trouble has come in doubles for Commonwealth Games 10,000m bronze medalist Rodgers Kwemoi, who, in addition to failing to make his marathon debut, is locked up in Kenya away from his place of work in Japan.

Kwemoi, who runs for Aisan Kyobio, whom he signed for in 2015, has had a time time due to the coronavirus pandemic that has made a return to the island nation impossible due to travel restrictions.

“ I was to return to my work station in Japan on March 25, the date that all international flights were canceled,” said Kwemoi.

However, to keep himself fit as he waits on what's next, he does long runs and takes his free to tend to his cattle.

The former world junior 10,000m champion said also revealed his plans for the future, despite the uncertainties surrounding the world of sports.

His focus, he said, is to deliver a world and Olympics 10,000m title, which has been elusive for decades with his immediate focus being the 2020 Olympic Games set for Tokyo, Japan next year.

Naftali Temu was the last Olympics 10,000m winner at the 1968 Mexico City Olympic Games while Charles Kamathi was the last to win the world title at the 2001 World Championships in Edmonton, Canada — the third after Paul Koech (1983) and Moses Tanui (1991).

“I want to run several 10,000m, 5,000m and road races but now am focusing on the Olympics. I want to bring the 5,000m and 10,000m Olympic titles,” said Kwemoi.

Despite his current struggles, Kwemoi can count himself lucky after he was considered for the Sh100,000-a-month scholarship programme by the National Olympics Committee of Kenya (NOC-K) courtesy of Association of National Olympics Committees of Africa (Anoca).

He is joined by Commonwealth Games 800m champion Wycliffe Kinyamal, 800m Africa Games bronze medalist Emily Cherotich, world 800m silver medalist Ferguson Rotich, world champion 3,000m steeplechase champion Conseslus Kipruto and world 1,500m champion Timothy Cheruiyot.

“I thank God and NOCK for selecting me. I will use the scholarship well as I prepare for the Olympic Games,” said Chumo.

He said that the scholarship will use it well as he prepares for Olympic Games, utilize it well.

“I don’t want to let those who chose me down. I will work to the best of my knowledge,” he said.

He joined Japan through former Africa cross country champion Leonard Barsoton after the world cross country in China.

“Going to Japan was my dream and all my prayers were answered because I had wanted to work in Japan like my friends,” he said.

He also hailed his employer for ensuring that, despite being away from work, he still gets his wages.

(07/16/2020) Views: 207 ⚡AMP
by Emmanuel Sabuni
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Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

Fifty-six years after having organized the Olympic Games, the Japanese capital will be hosting a Summer edition for the second time, originally scheduled from July 24 to August 9, 2020, the games were postponed due to coronavirus outbreak, the postponed Tokyo Olympics will be held from July 23 to August 8 in 2021, according to the International Olympic Committee decision....

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Organizers of the Herculis EBS Meeting have confirmed five more world champions who are set to compete at the Wanda Diamond League fixture in Monaco on 14 August

Katarina Johnson-Thompson, the world champion in the heptathlon, will compete in the high jump, her best individual discipline. Hellen Obiri, the world champion in the 5000m, will race over that distance in the Principality.

Conseslus Kipruto of Kenya, the world and Olympic champion in the the 3000m steeplechase, will headline that event, always a popular fixture in Monaco. Another middle distance star announced is HalimahNakaayi of Uganda, the surprise 800m champion in Doha last year.

Organizers also announced the Noah Lyles, the world 200m champion, will headline his favorite event.

Others on the slate include world pole vault record-holder Armand Duplantis; Laura Muir of Great Britain, who will race over 1000m; and Germany's Konstanze Klosterhalfen, the European indoor 5000m record-holder.

All three of Norway's Ingebrigtsen brothers, Henrik, Filip and Jakob, are also on the slate. It wasn't immediately announced which distance they would race. The men's programme includes both the 1500m and 5000m.

(07/14/2020) Views: 175 ⚡AMP
by World Athletics
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Kenyan steeplechase star was aiming for another global gold and a world record in 2020, but coronavirus outbreak has forced him to go back to the drawing board

Conseslus Kipruto knows what it takes to become an Olympic and world champion: talent, hard work, a never-say-die attitude. This, after all, is the man who won the Diamond League final two years ago wearing just one shoe.

But now the 25-year-old Kenyan will have to find another quality: patience. The postponement of Tokyo 2020 means Kipruto will have to wait another year to defend his Olympic title.

“It’s very disappointing, but we understand what’s going on in the world because of this coronavirus,”  he tells me from his home in Eldoret. “The way I’ve trained, the aim was to defend my title in Tokyo, but the IOC made the right decision, in my opinion.”

Kipruto has won four major 3000m steeplechase titles in the last four years. The first came at the Rio Olympics in 2016, followed by his maiden world title in London in 2017 and then gold at the Commonwealth Games the following year. Last year, he missed several months of vital training with an ankle injury. But he built a pool in his back garden, regained his fitness through aqua-jogging and went on to retain his world title in Doha by the thickness of his vest. It was an extraordinary story.

And he had been taking that impressive form into his preparations for Tokyo.

“My preparation was going very well,” he says. “We were pushing hard and actually I was on course to defend my title in Tokyo and was hoping to run a world record or close to a world record, so you can see why I am disappointed.”

Like thousands of athletes all over the world, Kipruto finds himself in fabulous shape but with no competitive racing on the horizon. There’s no guarantee that he’ll be in the same condition in 12 months’ time and the knock-on postponement of the World Championships in Eugene to 2022 means his next two years will have to be recalibrated.

“It’s really frustrating because I don’t know about next year,” he says. “My plans and my prayers were to have the Olympics this year and in 2021 to defend my title at the World Championships and then in 2022 to go to the Commonwealth Games (in Birmingham). Now I don’t know and I’ll have to go back to the drawing board.”

(04/14/2020) Views: 462 ⚡AMP
by Chris Dennis
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Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

Fifty-six years after having organized the Olympic Games, the Japanese capital will be hosting a Summer edition for the second time, originally scheduled from July 24 to August 9, 2020, the games were postponed due to coronavirus outbreak, the postponed Tokyo Olympics will be held from July 23 to August 8 in 2021, according to the International Olympic Committee decision....

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