What you need to know:
- Jebitok, who competed at the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games, will also double up in the 1,500m.
- World Relay 2x2x400m silver medalist Naomi Korir makes the women’s 800m team that also has Eglay Nalianya.
- Abel Kipsang, who represented Kenya at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, is a lone ranger in men’s 1,500m, while Jacob Kiprop and Daniel Simiu will battle in the men's 3,000m.
Team Kenya coach Janeth Jepkosgei is confident that her young charges will win some medals for the country at the World Athletics Indoor Championships starting Friday at Štark Arena, Belgrade, Serbia.
The 38-year-old, who last competed for Kenya at the 2015 World Championships in Beijing, said that though she can’t predict the type of the medal they will get, something nice will come from the Balkans.
Jepkosgei is in a team of 10 athletes and six officials that was to left at 11.55pm on Tuesday aboard an Emirates flight for the three-day championships.
“You can tell from their body language in training that they are hungry for results. They are simply happy free souls,” said Jepkosgei, the 2007 World 800m champion and 2008 Beijing Olympics 800m silver medallist.
Though a different experience virtually for all the members, this being an indoor championship event, Jepkosgei said that she has instilled the essence of being courageous and tough at that particular stage.
“They need not to be scared and should fight to the finishing tape,” said Jepkosgei, who described her team as Kenya’s future stars.
“I have told them that they have a long and bright future ahead, hence being in the team should motivate them. They deserve to represent Kenya, “explained Jepkosgei, who is indebted to Athletics Kenya for giving her a chance to handle the national team for the first time.
“This is another responsibility and stage in my athletics career after having hang up my spikes from competitive running back in 2015. I am happy but I am in the process of learning,” said Jepkosgei.
Kenya only won one medal- bronze by Bethwell Birgen in men’s 3,000m-from the last 2018 World Athletics Indoor Championships in Birmingham, United Kingdom.
The last time Kenya won gold in the men’s event was in 2014 in Sopot, Poland where Caleb Mwangangi reigned supreme in the 3,000m.
Hellen Obiri (3,000m) and Pamela Jelimo (800m) won last for the country in 2012 Istanbul, Turkey.
Team captain and Africa’s 100m record holder, Ferdinand Omanyala and his teammates have promised a good show with the sprinter targeting a sub 6.57 seconds in the men’s 60m.
The 2018 World Under-20 5,000m champion Beatrice Chebet is eyeing a podium place in the women’s 3,000m alongside Collins Kipruto in the men’s 800m.
Kipruto will partner with World Under-20 800m bronze medallist Noah Kibet in the 800m event.
Chebet, 22, said she is eager to emulate Obiri on her maiden major tour as a senior in the women’s 3,000m where she will team up with prodigy Edinah Jebitok.
Jebitok, who competed at the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games, will also double up in the 1,500m.
World Relay 2x2x400m silver medalist Naomi Korir makes the women’s 800m team that also has Eglay Nalianya.
Abel Kipsang, who represented Kenya at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, is a lone ranger in men’s 1,500m, while Jacob Kiprop and Daniel Simiu will battle in the men's 3,000m.