After staying out for 18 months nursing an injury, reigning world cross country champion Agnes Jebet has resumed training as she sets her sights on retaining her title in Kampala next year.
Jebet picked up a fibula injury during last year’s IAAF World Cross Country Championships in Guiyang, China, but fought hard to still win the senior women’s title, making history at 19 as the second youngest woman to win the title after South African Zola Budd’s win in 1985.
The injury has kept her off active competition since then.
“I’m very happy that I’m well and can now train hard ahead of the World Cross Country Championships next year in Uganda,” she told the Daily Nation Sport.
Last weekend, she finished seventh during the University of Eldoret’s cross country race.
“Basically, I used the race to train. You might have noticed that I did not push myself,” she said.
“I was worried about losing my title had my injury not healed in time…” Jebet said adding: “It is now healed completely, my focus is now on the World Cross Country Championships where I want to keep my title.”
Jebet, who is training under the Gianni Demadonna stable, says she will actively participate at the forthcoming Athletics Kenya Cross Country Series meetings. Nairobi meeting starts off the series on November 5.
“Performances at the series not only give one good form, but Athletics Kenya also uses it to select the team for the World Cross,” she said.
“For me, I want to compete well in the season because I need to get back to form before the national trials.”
Jebet made a mark in the international front in 2012 when she won bronze medal in 5,000 metres during the World Junior Championships in Barcelona.
This was five months after winning junior silver medal at the Africa Cross Country Championships in South Africa.
She was second to Olympic 1,500m champion Faith Chepng’etich in junior race at the 2013 World Cross Country Championships in Poland.
A year later, Jebet emerged from the shadows of Chepng’etich.
She won the national cross country championships, beating Chepng’etich to second place.
Jebet comes from Cheboiywo Village in Uasin Gishu County.