Olympic champion Faith back in training, hungry for more glory

Sunday February 10 2019

The 2016 Rio Olympics 1,500m women’s gold

The 2016 Rio Olympics 1,500m women’s gold medalist Faith Chepng’etich Kipyegon (in a black cap) with Sharon Chertich and other runners before the start of the 6km junior women Mau – Egerton cross country race on  February 9, 2019 at Egerton University, Njoro. PHOTO | FRANCIS MUREITHI |  NATION MEDIA GROUP

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The 2016 Rio Olympics 1,500m women’s gold medallist Faith Chepng’etich has started light training as she focuses on the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games.

Chepng’etich, who is also the reigning 1.500m world champion, took maternity leave a few months back after lighting up the international athletics track scene. She is mother to eight-month old Alyn Chepkorir.

“I am coming back from maternity leave and my main focus is the Olympics. I am currently training at Kaptagat in Eldoret, just lightly, and then come home in Keringet and take care of my beautiful angel girl who is amazingly growing very fast,” she said.

She added: “I am learning a lot on how to balance my interest as a mother and my athletics passion, and so far so good, I can’t complain. I am enjoying both roles. I want to be fit and ready to clinch a national slot and defend my title in Tokyo in 2020,” said Chepng’etich.

She was speaking to Nation Sport on the sidelines of the Mau -Egerton cross country in which she is the race brand ambassador for the third year running now.

The other brand ambassador is David Rudisha who did not attend the sixth edition of the race that is aimed at raising funds to conserve River Njoro.

“This is my third year as the race brand ambassador and I am happy. It feels good and it means a lot to me as an athlete because when upcoming athletes see me here I believe they feel motivated and would like also one day to be a world champion,” said Chepng’etich.

She added: “When they see me they not only see Faith, they also see my Rio Olympics Gold medal hanging loosely on my neck. They want to work hard like me and that is my joy as a brand ambassador.”

She said she felt greatly honoured when the Njoro-based Egerton University settled on her to be their brand ambassador.

“Egerton university is a Nakuru institution and being associated with it is a win-win situation for me as upcoming athletes will be motivated to work hard in class and join the institution after completing their secondary education,” she said.

She advised upcoming athletes to balance both classwork and athletics if they hoped to succeed.

Moments after the announcer of the race, Boniface Mwakio, mentioned the arrival of Chepng’etich, many of the upcoming athletes, officials, and Egerton university staff jostled for space to take selfies with her.

The start of the 6km junior women race was delayed for five minutes as the Olympics champion interacted with the more than 100 runners moments after she had been introduced to the gathering.

“I come from Keringet but I have never seen Faith. I am happy I have seen her and listened to her words of advice,” said Sharon Cherotich, who went on to clinch the women’s 6km race in 20:43.9 ahead of Diana Cherotich (21:40.7) and Dorcas Chemutai (21:49.3).