Kenya’s Kipyegon hunts gold in youth athletics Worlds

Nairobi, June 21 (IANS) Africa 2,000-metre steeplechase champion Vincent Kipyegon will not rest on his laurels until he reclaims the gold medal in the discipline at this year’s World Youth Championships in Cali, Colombia in July.

Kipyegon, 17, is not happy with his sprinting prowess, especially n the final round, reports Xinhua.

“I have to improve my speed. In Kenya, you are as good as the next race, especially in steeplechase. I want to do more, go places and make a name,” he said on Saturday.

In April, Kipyegon set the Africa youth record of 5:37.05 minutes, but he has since improved it to 5:27.17 minutes. Now he wants it to go down further in Cali and have a gold medal to savour for his efforts.

“We dominate in steeplechase, but in Donetsk in 2013, Kenya lost out to Ethiopia. My mission is to make sure we reclaim the title,” he said.

After his mission in Cali, Kipyegon will want to train his eyes on clinching a slot in the team to Rio Olympics in 2016.

But he knows like his predecessor and 2011 world youth steeplechase champion Conseslus Kipruto, it will be as hard as climbing the Everest barefoot if the calibre of talent at home is anything to go by.

The preliminary entry figures show that 1,424 athletes from 156 countries are set to compete at the IAAF World Youth Championships in Cali, making it the biggest international athletics event to be held in South America.

The last IAAF track and field championships to be held in South America was the 2000 IAAF World Junior Championships, where 1122 athletes from 151 countries competed.

But this year’s event in Cali from July 15-19 is shaping up to be even bigger. As these are preliminary entries, the final numbers will marginally differ.

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