Olympic steeplechase champion Kipruto eyes World Cross Country title

Sports

Nairobi, Nov 14  Olympic steeplechase champion Conseslus Kipruto has his eyes set on making the Kenyan team heading to the World Cross Country Championships in Denmark in March.

Last season Kipruto suffered a back problem that saw him struggle to establish his authority in the steeplechase race and despite winning the Africa Championships and the IAAF Diamond League, he performed below his potential, reports Xinhua news agency.

“It was in my plans to try and run for the world record last season. I wanted to do it in Monaco, and I thought I would do it, but I experienced a slight problem in my back and I couldn’t do it,” Kipruto said on Wednesday in Eldoret.

Two months ago he was involved in a road accident but was lucky to walk away unhurt after his luxury SUV hit a tractor near Eldoret. Now he believes his injury concerns are behind him and he looks forward to the new season.

Kipruto’s agent Michel Boeting has confirmed that his athlete is back in top form.

“He wants to run the Kenyan season and try to qualify for the World Cross Country Championships in Denmark…For the 2019 season his main aim, apart from trying to defend the world title, is to finally break the eight minute barrier and threaten the world record,” said Boeting.

Qatar’s Saeed Saif Shaheen has held on to the world record for the last 14 years. The world record stands at 7:53.63 and only Beijing Olympic champion Brimin Kipruto has come close to breaking it when he clocked a time of 7:53.64 in Monaco three years ago.

“Even if I will not break the world record, I want to try and run (a) sub-eight minute (time),” said Kipruto.

Kipruto said he has become accustomed to winning in major competitions and believes having won all the titles on offer from his junior days to today, the world record will be enough to seal his spot among the legends in the water and hurdle race.

“It requires a lot of preparation and commitment to remain on top in sports. But I want to continue working hard and see how fast I can run,” he added.  – IANS

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