What you need to know:
- Chepng'etich said she was looking forward to seeing my daughter, Alyn, born in June 2018 and husband Timothy Kitum.
Two-time Olympic and World 1,500m champion Faith Chepng’etich Kipyegon returned to the country to a heroic reception, promising to successfully hunt down the one thing that doesn't have in her trophy cabinet - the world record.
Chepng'etich said that having achieved a milestone in winning two Olympics and a similar number of world titles, her next target is the 1,500m world record.
However, Chepng'etich couldn't reveal when she will attack the world record of three minutes, 50.07 seconds currently held by Ethiopian Genzebe Dibaba.
Chepng'etich reclaimed her world title on Tuesday with a time of 3:52.96 in Oregon, United States to arguably stake a claim at the Great of All Time (G.O.A.T) in women’s 1,500m, being the first woman to achieve a double Olympic and world titles over the distance.
To receive Chepng'etich at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport amidst song and dance were Athletics Kenya chief administrative officer Susan Kamau, deputy director of sports Jackson Indakwa, friends and family members.
“First of all I want to thank you all for turning up late to welcome me. I wasn’t expecting this. I feel humbled and loved,” said Chepng'etich, who received bouquets of flowers from Indakwa and Kamau among others.
“Nevertheless, I am looking forward to getting what I am still missing in my cabinet and that is the World Record. I hope to get it soon when I am still enjoying top form,” said the 28-yeyar-old.
Chepng'etich, who has personal best 3:51.07, explained that staying mentally strong and injury free will lay the groundwork for the World Record set by Dibaba in 2017.
Chepng'etich said she was prepared to reclaim the world title she lost to Dutch Sifan Hassan at the 2019 Doha World Athletics Championships.
“That time I had just returned from maternity break. This time round, I wasn't scared of her even if she was to triple like at the Tokyo Olympic Games. I thank God that he answered my prayers,” said Chepng'etich, adding that it’s humbling to be part of the exclusive club of the great female racers in the 1,500m.
“It’s really something special to be called GOAT in women’s 1,500m, being the first woman to achieve a double at the Olympics and World Championship. I want to fully cement that with a World Record,” affirmed Chepng'etich.
Chepng'etich said her next race is the Monaco Diamond League on August 10 where she intends to improve her personal best. “It’s a fast track and I hope to run well. I am really looking forward to race in Monaco for the second time.”
Chepng'etich rallied Kenyans to support her colleagues who are yet to compete in Oregon.
”I was running under immense pressure since we had not won any gold medal. More so, I was the best in the field and losing would have been painful and heartbreaking,” explained Chepng'etich.
Chepng'etich said that it has not been easy for Team Kenya who had issues with visa issuance, having also traveled without physiotherapists.
“It has not been easy but we can only keep our fingers crossed as we pray for them. I am confident we shall claim gold medals in men and women’s 800m and 5,000m among others races,” said Chepng'etich.
Chepng'etich said she was looking forward to seeing my daughter, Alyn, born in June 2018 and husband Timothy Kitum.
“They have sacrificed a lot for me to perform well alongside my coach Patrick Sang and my management Global Sports,” said Chepng'etich. “I want to extend my heartfelt appreciation to Athletics Kenya and the government for the good job and all Kenyans for their support.”