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Former world champion Jepkosgei targets gold in Bahamas

Friday May 23 2014

PHOTO | FILE Kenya's Janeth Jepkosgei competes in 800m heat 6 during the Olympic Games at the Olympic Stadium in London on August 8, 2012. Jepkosgei is part of the 4x800m team set to represent Kenya in Bahamas.

PHOTO | FILE Kenya's Janeth Jepkosgei competes in 800m heat 6 during the Olympic Games at the Olympic Stadium in London on August 8, 2012. Jepkosgei is part of the 4x800m team set to represent Kenya in Bahamas.  NATION MEDIA GROUP

AYUMBA AYODI
By AYUMBA AYODI
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The 2007 Osaka World Championships 800m champion Janeth Jepkosgei is set to make her long awaited return to the two-lap race this weekend after recovering from an injury.

World Relays Championships planned for this weekend in Bahamas will be Jepkosgei’s first major event since withdrawing from the World Championships in Moscow August last year with an Achilles tendon injury.

“I am happy my body is back in great shape after what happened in Moscow,” said the 2006 Commonwealth Games 800m champion, who went on to win silver at the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games.

“My form and shape can only it can only get better and as they say good wine matures with age,” said the 30-year-old athlete, who won the 2002 World Junior 800m title.

READY FOR BAHAMAS

Jepkosgei praised her teammates in the 4x800m team and said they are lucky that all are in good health and shape ahead of the Championships. But the former world champion noted that they will not underrate any of their opponents in Bahamas.

“Everyone is focused to win in Bahamas but we are taking precautions against the Russians and Americans,” said Jepkosgei. “We promise to do our best but Kenyans should pray for us,” appealed Jepkosgei.

Jepkosgei’s last medal haul was at the 2011 Daegu World Championships where she won bronze.

Her major breakthrough came in 2006 when she won the women's 800m event at the 2006 Commonwealth Games with a time of 1: 57.88, beating veteran Maria Mutola of Mozambique.

Later in the same year, she won the African 800m title, a feat that saw her awarded the 2006 Kenyan Sportswoman of the Year Award.

Jepkosgei rewrote the competitions' history books on August 28, 2007, when she won 800m gold at the Osaka World Championships, becoming the first female Kenyan middle distance runner to achieve gold over the distance.

She led from start to finish winning in a time of 1:56.04 where she also beat the Kenyan record and world leading time of 1.56.18.

WOMEN 4X800M TEAM

Eunice Sum, Janeth Jepkosgei, Sylvia Chesebe, Cherono Koech, Agatha Jeruto.

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