Ezekiel Kemboi reveals what Kenya's steeplechase team must work on to reclaim Olympics gold

Ezekiel Kemboi reveals what Kenya's steeplechase team must work on to reclaim Olympics gold

Joel Omotto 09:57 - 17.06.2024

Multiple Olympic and world steeplechase champion Ezekiel Kemboi has identified the areas Team Kenya needs to rectify before the Paris Games if they have to reclaim their title.

Two-time Olympic 3,000m steeplechase champion Ezekiel Kemboi believes Kenya’s team of Simon Koech, Amos Serem, and Abraham Kibiwott still need to work on a few things before they can challenge at the Olympics.

The trio were selected to represent the country in the steeplechase at the Paris Olympics and pressure is on them to return the title which was considered a ‘Kenyan race’ before the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.

Kemboi, who won gold at the 2004 and 2012 Olympics, is working with the three but he feels they have to fine-tune their speed and jumps at the water barriers if they need to challenge defending champion Soufiane El Bakkali of Morocco, who has also won the race at the last two World Championships.

“These boys are good, I have been with them for long and I have seen how they jump. Their tactics are not bad but when we go to camp, we will rectify a few things mostly on speed and tactically how to jump,” said Kemboi.

“I want to assure Kenyans that in Paris, it will be a medal sweep. I just don’t know who will win which medal,” added the four-time world champion.

Kenya’s steeplechase team is young, with Koech and Serem both 21, while 28-year-old Kibiwott will provide the experience.

Commonwealth champion Kibiwott is returning to the Olympics after his debut in Tokyo ended with a 10th-place finish but after a bronze medal at the 2023 World Championships, he feels the team is in a better position this year.

“I know the pressure is very high to win the steeplechase for Kenya but we are working together and we have people like Ezekiel coming to mentor us. We will go into training and we promise Kenyans a gold medal,” said Kibiwott.

Serem and Koech won silver and bronze respectively at the African Games in March with the latter claiming the 2023 Diamond League trophy which will provide experience in Paris.

Kenya had won steeplechase gold at every Olympics since 1968 before El Bakkali spoilt the party in Tokyo and the country is keen to ensure they reclaim their crown in Paris.

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