Kenya's Kipruto seeks Elgoibar cross country victory in Spain
NAIROBI, Jan. 11 (Xinhua) -- Olympic 3,000m steeplechase champions Conseslus Kipruto of Kenya and Ruth Jebet of Bahrain will compete in the Cross de Elgoibar in Spain on Jan 14.
Kipruto will skip the Kenya cross country championships on Friday to focus on his assignment in Spain. He also does not intend to compete at the Africa Cross Country Championships in Chlef, Algeria in March.
On the other hand, Jebet will face world U20 cross country champion Letensebet Gidey from Ethiopia and Kenya's Lilian Kasait in the women's race.
The Bahraini, who trains in Nairobi and Eldoret, is hopeful of destroying Kenya's supremacy in cross country and in track competition ahead of the Diamond League circuit in May.
"I always like training in Eldoret or Ngong (Nairobi). These are my friends and teammates. I know much about how these Ken yans run and they know me as well. But at the big competition, we temporarily forget our links and relations and focus on the competition at hand," said Jebet.
Kipruto is expected to face world U20 cross country champion Jacob Kiplimo from Uganda, teammate Timothy Toroitich, world 10km and 15km record-holder Leonard Komon as well as Ethiopia's Abadi Hadis.
Kipruto is pushing his fitness test ahead of the Kenya team trials set for March to select the team to the Commonwealth Games, which will be held in Gold Coast, Australia from April 4-15.
After enjoying considerable success as an age-group athlete, Kipruto struggled to maintain his focus on senior level.
"I was very fortunate to enjoy success in athletics from a young age. I won the 2011 world U18 and 2012 world U20 steeplechase titles and what followed came many good things but other challenges also followed," said Kipruto.
"In Kenya, we live with other families and close neighbors - what we term the 'extended family'. When someone is successful, the expectation is to support this family. It is seen that it is only fair we all benefit from this system. My mother raised me alone with the help of my uncle, Cleophas, and my close relatives remain very helpful and supportive to my career. It is with their help that I became a successful athlete, so of course I was only too happy to contribute to their improvement," he added.
His rise has always faced hurdles especially with his mentor Ezekiel Kemboi standing tall. It was not until 2016 at the Olympic Games that he broke the aura of invincibility that Kemboi had.
"In 2013 I was convinced I was going to win the IAAF World Championships in Moscow and I was very disappointed to take silver. I lost to a legend (Ezekiel Kemboi) and two years later I had to swallow that pill once more as I finished second (to Kemboi) at the 2015 World Championships in Beijing," sa id Kipruto.
That changed in Rio and he followed it up with another win at the London World Championships last year. Now he must also go on and retain his Commonwealth Games title in Gold Coast.
"To any age-group champion I would say, always remember what made you successful. Never veer off that path or one day it will come back to bite you," he said.
That will sting behind his ears as he lines up in Elgoibar in Spain for cross country race on Sunday, where he is building on his endurance.Source: Google News Spain | Netizen 24 Spain