Kipkemoi trains his sights on Olympics ticket

Tuesday March 1 2016

Kenneth Kipkemoi on his way to victory during a past Discovery Cross Country senior men's 10km race held at Eldoret Sports Club. PHOTO | FILE |

Kenneth Kipkemoi on his way to victory during a past Discovery Cross Country senior men's 10km race held at Eldoret Sports Club. PHOTO | FILE |  NATION MEDIA GROUP

By COPPERFIELD LAGAT
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Former Africa 10,000m champion Kenneth Kipkemoi has set his sights on clinching a slot in Team Kenya for the 2016 Olympics.

Kipkemoi has said clinching a ticket in Team Kenya will offer him a life-time chance of upstaging Britain’s Mo Farah in Rio de Janeiro. Farah has dominated both the 5,000m and 10,000m races at major championships for the last six years.

Kenyan coaches and athletes are now working round the clock to constitute a team strong enough to stop the Briton from winning a third title over the 24-lap race.

After historically topping the medal standings in last year’s IAAF World Championships in China, Kenya will be seeking to recapture the 5,000m and 10,000m titles at the Olympics since John Ngugi (1988, Seoul) and Naftali Temu (1968, Mexico) won men’s 5,000m and 10,000m honours respectively.

But Kipkemoi remains upbeat that he can be the man to beat Farah, who has dominated the long distance track race, leaving Kenyan and Ethiopian athletes scrambling for silver and bronze medals in major championships.

Reigning World Half Marathon champion Geoffrey Kamworor pushed Farah to the tape at the Beijing Worlds but the hardened Briton eventually claimed victory at the Bird’s Nest Stadium.

“He (Farah) must have felt the push that Kipsang (Kamworor) gave him in Beijing. That was a tightly-contested race,” Kipkemoi said.

The diminutive Kipkemoi has been juggling road running and track but says he will forego road races to get an Olympics slot. He was fourth at the national trials and could not make the 2012 London Olympic Games.

“Ending Farah’s dominance on the track remains my priority should I get a slot in Team Kenya. I will give my all to see to it that this happens in Rio,” he said.