Kiyeng and company sound warning shot to rivals - Daily Nation

Kiyeng and company sound warning shot to rivals

Sunday July 30 2017

Hyvin Kiyeng

Kenya's Hyvin Kiyeng celebrates after winning the final of the women's 3000 metres steeplechase athletics event at the 2015 IAAF World Championships at the "Bird's Nest" National Stadium in Beijing on August 26, 2015. PHOTO | OLIVIER MORIN |  AFP

By AYUMBA AYODI
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World 3,000m steeplechase champion Hyvin Kiyeng and her team mates are out to employ teamwork as they seek to silence rivals in women’s 3,000m steeplechase at the World Championships in London.

Kiyeng will team up with World Under-20 3,000m steeplechase champion Cellphine Chespol, Commonwealth champion Purity Kirui and Beatrice Chepkoech in London, and the four have promised to sacrifice personal ambitions and have one of them winning the title.

And Kiyeng has warned their rivals, particularly Kenyan-born Ruth Jebet from Bahrain who is the Olympic champion and the World Record holder, to prepare for a big battle from them.

“I don’t fear anybody. What matters is how prepared we are for the race,” said Kiyeng, the Olympic silver medallist, adding that she is under no pressure to retain her title. “Nothing can go wrong if you have trained well.”

However, Kiyeng, the 2011 Africa Games 3,000m steeplechase champion, has urged her colleagues to ensure they reach the final for their teamwork strategy to work well.

“Having the four of us in the final will be a great thing. We can easily sweep the podium places. We only need to believe in ourselves,” said the 2012 Africa 3,000m steeplechase bronze medallist.

Both Kiyeng, Chepkoech and Chespol, and their rival Jebet have won a leg each in the Diamond League Series. Kiyeng won on May 5 in Doha in World Lead and Meet Record time of 9min, 00.12secs before Jebet claimed a Meet Record victory in Shanghai of 9:04.78.

“During the national trials, we ran while discussing with Chespol how we shall compete in Paris,” said Chepkoech, who went on to win in Paris on July 1 in personal best 9:01.69.

Chespol had won the Prefontaine Classic on May 27 in Eugene in a National Record time of 8:58.78, which was also a World Lead, World Junior, Africa and Meet Record.

Chepkoech, Kirui and Chespol are making their first appearance at the World Championships.

“My target is to finish on the podium but we shall discuss how we shall handle the final,” said Chepkoech, the 2014 African Games 1,500m bronze medallist, who finished fourth in 3,000m steeplechase at Rio Olympics.

Chepkoech, who has juggled from 400m hurdles and 800m, only switched to steeplechase last year upon completing her course at Kenya Police Training College as she went on to post personal best 9:17.41.

“Jebet inspires me the way she runs but let her prepare for a bruising battle from us. If she could why not me?” posed Chepkoech.

However, Chespol said they must reach the final first before strategising on how to win the coveted gold medal.

“Crazy things happen in the semi-finals and we need to be careful, then we can plan our strategy for the final,” said Chespol, the 2015 World Under-18 2,000m steeplechase champion.

“I’m happy with my rise from a world youth and junior champion to a world senior champion. I pray for God to deliver that and I’m sure it will be good for us if we all make it to the final,” said Chespol, adding that every one of them is a race favourite.

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