What you need to know:
- Reigning Olympics champion breaks national record
- In-form Chepng’etich considers running 800m and 1,500m at Olympic Games
Fresh from breaking her own 1,5000m Kenyan record at Florence Diamond League, in Italy, on Thursday, Faith Chepng’etich is spoilt for choice on which races to run at the Tokyo Olympic Games beckon.
Chepng’etich, who is the reigning Olympics 1,500m champion, has the liberty of either defending her title or going for 800m honours at the Tokyo Games due on July 23 to August 8 at the Japanese capital.
Pundits are also floating another idea of the world 1,500m silver medallist doubling up in 1,500m and 800m in Tokyo.
Incidentally, Kenya won its maiden medal from the Olympics through Wilson Kiprugut at the 1964 Tokyo Games in the 800m.
“It poses something to think about and I am yet to decide,” said Chepng’etich when asked whether she will consider doing a double in Tokyo.
Chepng’etich cruised to a Kenya record time of three minutes and 53.91 seconds to finish second behind Sifan Hassan from the Netherlands in Florence.
“It was a good race and it gives me a hint on where to work on with my coach,” said Chepng’etich, who had attained the Tokyo Olympics qualifying standard with a winning time of 1:58.26 at the Doha Diamond League on May 28.
Hassan, who had freshly set a short-lived new world record in 10,000m at her home country, clocked a world lead and meet record 3:53.63 in what was a replica of the 1,500m final at the 2019 World Championships in Doha.
It was at the world event where Chepng’etich claimed a national record of 3:54.22 in 1,500m after settling for silver as Hassan won in a European and Netherlands record of 3:51.95.
Running both the 1,500 and 800m will be tricky for any athlete.
The 800m heats will be held July 30 followed by the semi-finals the following day and the final on August 3. The 1,500m heats will be staged on August 2 followed by the semis on August 4 and final on August 6.
Chepng’étich is the fourth Kenyan to attain the Tokyo Olympics standard in 800m with a run of 1:59.50 after Jackline Wambui (158.79), Eunice Sum (1:58.99) and Emily Cherotich (1:59.23).