A look into Kenya's strategy to reclaim Olympic steeplechase title

A look into Kenya's strategy to reclaim Olympic steeplechase title

Abigael Wafula 09:00 - 25.06.2024

Barnaba Korir has explained how Athletics Kenya plans to ensure Kenya goes back to the top of the game in the steeplechase.

Athletics Kenya has plans to reclaim the Olympic steeplechase title that was lost during the delayed 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games in the men’s race and hopefully claim their first title in the women’s event.

AK Nairobi Chair Barnaba Korir, speaking to Capital Sport, explained that one way to achieve that would be by incorporating two-time Olympic champion Ezekiel Kemboi and the 2008 Olympic bronze medallist Richard Mateelong.

Korir noted that having the duo in the team to assist in training the athletes is one way of ensuring that Kenyans impress on the global stage. The men’s charge will be led by Amos Serem who will enjoy the company of Abraham Kibiwott and Simon Koech.

World record holder Beatrice Chebet headlines the field and will be joined by Faith Cherotich, the world 3000m SC bronze medallist and Commonwealth Games champion Jackline Chepkoech.

The Kenyan women are yet to win an Olympic title with the last medal being a bronze having been won by Hyvin Jepkemoi at the delayed 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games where the men’s title was also snatched from Kenya courtesy of Moroccan star Soufiane El Bakkali.

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“We have incorporated Kemboi and Mateelong who will be assisting the coaches who will be training the steeplechasers. They will be working with them to give them ideas on how they were running during their time. That can help us reclaim the title that we have held for so many years but we lost the last time. Everyone believes the steeplechase belongs to Kenya,” he said.

He disclosed that Mary Keitany, the former women-only world record holder in the marathon will also be a part of the charge to help in training. Korir believes that the marathon queen has a lot of experience that can make a huge impact in the athletes as they gear up for the global bonanza.

Korir noted that Kemboi also has the experience and confidence and having him on board is a huge plus for the athletes like Serem and Koech who are trying to make their way to the top.

“They have the experience…they know what they went through for example Ezekiel Kemboi and Mary Keitany. We put her in the team…although she has not been coaching, she has a lot of experience from her running days that she can impart on the athletes. It is also a huge motivation, discussing with the athletes that they should not be afraid of the kind of pressure they will have there,” Korir added.