Kenyan-born American Paul Chelimo shares reason for quitting track at the end of the season

Kenyan-born American Paul Chelimo shares reason for quitting track at the end of the season

Abigael Wafula 11:39 - 24.06.2024

Kenyan-born American Paul Chelimo has explained why he will quit the track at the end of this season to shift his focus to the marathon.

Olympic Games 5000m bronze medallist Paul Chelimo has announced retirement from the track as his main focus shifts to the marathon starting next season.

The Kenyan-born American noted that the Olympic trials will be his last time stepping foot on the Hayward Field in Eugene, Oregon since he feels it’s time for him to make the transition.

This comes after he failed to make the cut in the men’s 10,000m team to the Olympics, explaining that the marathon training has affected his transition back to the track and he is not as fast as he used to be.

In the trials, Chelimo could only afford a 10th-place finish in 28:18.31 but all hope is not lost since he has a chance to prove a point in the 5000m. He disclosed that he will try to get the chance to make his third Olympic team after representing Team USA in both the 2016 Rio Olympic Games and the delayed 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games where he earned medals in both events.

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“I think the marathon trials, training for the marathon got to my legs and affected my speed and I was just flat covering the moves but I still got the 5k so I’m not done yet.

“So, my legs were not ready to cover the moves and I was just flat and I just have to go back to the drawing board and you know it’s a tough year…it’s been a tough year and I mean, I’m human and sometimes you can’t force your body to do things, you just need to wait for it to come back to you.

“For the 5k, I just want to give my best and give 100% and that’s what I did in the 10k. I have to come back for the 5k and do my best and get one more chance to be a three-time Olympian and it’s probably that will be my last time stepping foot on the Hayward Field and next year, I’m moving up the marathon. For good, I’m out of the track and this will be my last track season,” Chelimo said after the disappointing 10,000m race.

The former Olympic Games silver medallist added that his marathon training has been impressive and is positive that he will have a great chance in representing the US over the 42km distance in the upcoming events.

He admitted that going back to the track after marathon training has proven to be an uphill task, forcing him to make the decision of quitting running on the track.

“I just want to get a lot of rest…I’ve been hitting the paces that I needed in the work and it’s just covering the moves and I thought it was going to be easy but as humans, we live and learn. My future is in the marathon.

“I want to enjoy the moment and do my best because I always go in confidence and as a champion but trying to come back to the track has been tough,” he added.