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Faith Chepng’etich trains sights on Olympics gold

Saturday December 19 2015

Faith Chepng’etich after winning the senior women’s 8km race during the national cross country championships at Uhuru Gardens on February 15, 2014. PHOTO | CHRIS OMOLLO |

Faith Chepng’etich after winning the senior women’s 8km race during the national cross country championships at Uhuru Gardens on February 15, 2014. PHOTO | CHRIS OMOLLO |  NATION MEDIA GROUP

AYUMBA AYODI
By AYUMBA AYODI
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World 1,500m silver medallist Faith Chepng’etich will start her road to the 2016 Rio Olympic Games with an appearance at the last Athletics Kenya Cross Country Series meeting in Sotik in January.

The 21-year-old Commonwealth Games 1,500m champion said she plans to go one better at the Olympics after finishing second behind Ethiopia’s Genzebe Dibaba at the World Championships in Beijing in August. Dibaba holds the World Record for the metric mile race.

Chepng’etich, the reigning national cross country champion, who missed the World Cross Country Championships in March owing to an injury, said she’ll focus on her preparations so that she can hit the peak at the right time.

“God knows better but I pray for a good season devoid of injuries,” said Chepng’etich, who recovered from the injury to win the national trials before settling for silver in 4:08.96 behind Dibaba (4:08.09). “I will talk conclusively after the Rio trials because anything is bound to happen before then.”

Chepng’etich crowned her season with an African record breaking time of 4:16.71 in the One Mile race in Brussels, the final race of the 2015 Diamond League on September 11, beating Sifan Hassan in the final stretch.

Chepng’etich, who retained her World Cross Junior title in 2013 Bydgoszcz before scaling the ladder to claim the Africa Cross senior women title in 2014 in Uganda, started her 2015 season well, winning the national cross title in February.

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However, Chepng’etich sustained a metatarsal injury and was flown to the Netherlands for a treatment.

She failed to recover in time but that gave Agnes Jebet, who she beat to second place at the trails, a platform to make history as the youngest athlete to win senior women’s 8km title at the World Cross Championship aged 19.

“I was disappointed but I was glad the title remained in Kenya with my good friend winning it,” said Chepng’etich, who is currently training in Keringet alongside her sister Beatrice Mutai and Joyline Jerotich.

In case the 2011 World Youth and 2012 World Junior 1,500m is to make it to Rio Olympics, it will be her second appearance at the Summer Games after her debut at 2012 London where she was eliminated in the heats.

She was placed fifth on her debut at the World Championships in Moscow 2013.

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