World 3000m steeplechase silver medallist Conseslus Kipruto has fired a warning shot to his opponents in the World Championships that begin next week in Beijing, China.
Kipruto told Nation Sport that time is ripe for him to get out of the shadows of his more established compatriots, among them three-time world champion Ezekiel Kemboi.
“I feel this is the year for me to make a breakthrough. I have been an underdog for long,” Kipruto said yesterday after the morning training session at the Kasarani Stadium.
Kemboi, former World champion Brimin Kipruto and the current Diamond League Series leader Jairus Birech are the other athletes who will be aiming to claim gold in the sport that Kenya has dominated for decades.
The 21-year-old Kipruto, who finished second to Kemboi in the 2013 Worlds in Moscow, is among the most promising steeplechasers in the country.
He won the 2011 World Youth 2000m steeplechase gold in Lille, France and 2012 World Junior title in the event and his personal best of 8:01.16 puts him second in the all-time juniors list.
Kipruto announced his presence in athletics when he won the 2000m steeplechase at the 2010 national youth trials. His winning time of 5:29.03 was a world lead time.
He repeated the feat the following year in France, beating teammate Gilbert Kirui to gold in 5:28.65.
Kipruto also beat veteran Paul Kipsiele Koech at the Herculis 2012 Diamond League meet in Monaco in a personal best of 8:03.49 minutes.