Beatrice Chebet admits to pressure ahead of retaining senior title at World X-country

ATHLETICS Beatrice Chebet admits to pressure ahead of retaining senior title at World X-country

Abigael Wafula • 12:05 - 16.02.2023

Chebet will enjoy the company of compatriots Edinah Jebitok, Emily Chebet, Cynthia Chepng'eno, Grace Loibach, and Agnes Ngetich.

World Cross-country junior champion Beatrice Chebet has revealed she is under the pump ahead of the World Cross-country championships in Bathurst, Australia.

Chebet will lead Kenya’s contingent in the senior women’s race where all eyes will be on her to retain the title.

For seven years, Kenya has maintained the top position in the senior women’s race in the global show with Florence Jebet winning the 2019 edition. Emily Chebet won the 2010 and 2013 editions of the same.

Hellen Obiri ran a tactical race to win at the 2019 Aarhus World Cross-cross country championships in 36:14. Obiri edged out the Ethiopian duo of Dera Dida and Letesenbet Gidey who finished second and third in respective times of 36:16 and 36:24.

Vivian Cheruiyot ran away with the 2011 edition as the late Agnes Tirop took top honours at the 2015 edition. Irene Cheptai won the 2017 edition.

Without the presence of Irene Cheptai, Chebet attested that the race will not be easy but promised to fight to retain Kenya’s glory over the category.

“Everybody has high expectations and I feel the pressure…they are all expecting something good. I assure you that I am going for a podium finish,” Chebet said.

The World 5000m silver medallist had a great season kick-off with a win at the Cinque Mulini in San Vittore Olona, the 12th leg of the World Athletics Cross Country Tour Gold on January 16.

“My body is in good shape and has been responding well to training. I want to bring a medal home,” she said.

Chebet is also aware of the tough competition that awaits her considering the race has attracted World 10,000m champion Gidey. She revealed that a call from Obiri encouraged her to take the leap of faith and fight hard in a quest of title defense.

“She called me and told me to fight and post a podium finish. I know the senior category is very challenging but my mind is already set on my target,” she said.

Chebet also insisted on the urge for teamwork in order to reclaim Team Kenya’s 2017 title.

Going forward, the Commonwealth Games 5000m champion revealed she wants to take part in the Diamond League meetings as she eyes a slot at the World Championships in Budapest, Hungary where she wants to compete in the 5000m.

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