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Let's start preparing for Tokyo now!

Thursday October 10 2019

World 3,000 metres steeplechase champions Conseslus Kipruto (left), accompanied by fellow world champions Ruth Chepng’etich (marathon) and Timothy Cheruiyot (1,500m) at the JKIA on October 7, 2019. PHOTO | CHRIS OMOLLO |

World 3,000 metres steeplechase champions Conseslus Kipruto (left), accompanied by fellow world champions Ruth Chepng’etich (marathon) and Timothy Cheruiyot (1,500m) at the JKIA on October 7, 2019. PHOTO | CHRIS OMOLLO |  NATION MEDIA GROUP

BARNABAS KORIR
By BARNABAS KORIR
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Despite finishing second at the just concluded World Athletics Championships with four gold medals, two silvers and four bronze, it’s not time to sit in our comfort zone with the Olympic Games just around the corner.

The event, which ended in Doha, Qatar, was a real learning curve and we must put things in order like yesterday if we want to make an impact in Tokyo.

Kenya is a nation of firsts and I am aware second position behind United States was not good enough.

This is why we have to go back to the drawing board and fix things well ahead of time.

There is no doubt we are losing ground in events that used to be our preserve and this is not good.

We know how close the men's 3,000 metres steeplechase was and we may not be lucky the second time. We lost both the men's 5,000m and 10,000m and it is about time we restrategise and revive our old good days.

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While we got bronze in 800m through Ferguson Rotich, this is usually not our portion and we need to reclaim our rightful place.

Yes we did not have our key men in various events but we must be able to work with the alternatives in future. We also know why this happened and we must start our preparations early. We must create awareness around the doping rules and ensure our probables for Olympic Games stick to the regulations.

With our enemies hovering around every championship, we must get it right this time round and shame them.

We also know that Tokyo will operate at the same wave length with Doha in as far as whether conditions are concerned and our preparations should go beyond just coaching. We need to use experts to identify proper training venues and conditions for different categories.

We have demonstrated that we can do well in sprints and field events and we have to continue working towards this to ensure we remain on track. Lately we have blown hot and gold and this need to change.

For Tokyo, time is running out and the earlier we start the better.

Last but not least, allow me to congratulate all our medallists for making us proud again as a nation.

Finally, allow me to join other Kenyans in wishing Eliud Kipchoge success in his Breaking2 mission in Vienna.

I have never doubted Kipchoge's capability to run under two hours and I know he will accomplish his mission come Saturday.

I am aware Kipchoge is psychologically prepared and nothing will stand in his way. I can’t wait for Saturday!

Go, Kipchoge, go!

Korir is the chairman of Athletics Kenya’s Nairobi branch. [email protected]

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