What you need to know:
- Women’s steeplechase world record holder ready to pick up from where she left off when calendar was suspended
- Chepkoech had signed up for the Doha Diamond League 3,000m race before it was cancelled due to the virus
- The last statement was delivered offhand, almost casually, but you bet that is a loud warning to all her rivals
The coronavirus pandemic may have jolted Beatrice Chepkoech's lofty plans this season, but like a seasoned barrier racer she has quickly regained her footing and her sights for the big prize.
The 3,000m women’s steeplechase world record holder still maintains her goal of lowering her record when competition resumes.
Chepkoech was in fine fettle at the beginning of the season as she looked ahead to the Tokyo Olympic Games.
Her win in the World Indoor Tour in Dusseldorf where she broke the 1,500m national record was clearly a sign of things to come before Covid-19 put paid to any further ambitions, at least for now.
Catching up with her at her home in Besiobei village in Konoin, Bomet County, Chepkoech seemed to have come to terms with the virus’s disruption easily talking about her botched plans this season.
She said that this year she had targeted bringing home the Olympic Games women’s steeplechase gold medal, the only diadem missing from her cabinet.
Chepkoech said that her preparations were also geared towards dominating the Diamond League races and lower the world record time she set in 2018 to show who was the boss in her running speciality.
She broke the world record in a time of 8 minutes, 44.32 seconds, in the process slicing off more than eight seconds from the old mark set by Bahrain’s Ruth Jebet in the Monaco Diamond League meeting at the Stade Louis II Stadium.
“I know I’m still capable of lowering my time, on the right course and with good preparations.
“I started the season well by winning in 1,500m and setting the national record during the World Indoors Tour. I was using the races to prepare for the season and my focus was to start the Diamond League series in super form,” said the champion.
Chepkoech had signed up for the Doha Diamond League 3,000m race before it was cancelled due to the virus.
“The World Tour was postponed to next year with Diamond League races following suit. These thoroughly disrupted our plans. But what to do. We just adjust and plan ahead,” she said.
She said all these as she helped her parents pick tea at their farm.
Donned in a black T-shirt with gumboots, Chepkoech was happy to see the Nation Sport crew visit her in the neighbourhood where she grew up.
“I’m happy you have visited me here at the farm because many people think we don’t do manual jobs. This is the other side of me and this is what took us to school and that’s why we are always happy to go back and help our parents,” said Chepkoech.
She had no problems engaging this writer on her plans, saying her meticulous planing for the season had more or less gone to waste after lockdown restrictions were imposed almost the entire globe following the outbreak of Covid-19.
Chepkoech said she had been doing easy training over the past few weeks but planned to step up her regiment from next week as she targets the new season.
“The current situation is not permanent. Things will normalise and I intend to come back even stronger.”
The last statement was delivered offhand, almost casually, but you bet that is a loud warning to all her rivals.
The world record holder is poised to pounce.