Durban- African Championship 5000 meters title holder Sheila Chepkirui is optimistic of breaking her own record during the up-coming Adidas sponsored race in Germany on the September 11, 2021.
The budding athlete who hails from Kipchimchim area in Ainamoi Sub-County within Kericho County aims to break the record of 29:46 which is her Personal Best (PB) in the 10 kilometer road race.
Speaking to Kenya News Agency during her training sessions at Kericho Teachers Training College grounds, Chepkirui was optimistic that she would emerge the winner and improve on her Personal Best which will boost her morale for future international races.
“I am currently working on speed since I have already worked on endurance and build-up and so right now I’m just sharpening my skills ahead of the race in one week’s time” said Chepkirui.
The 30-year-old Chepkirui, a Kenya Defense Forces soldier, said that her Kenyan challengers in the upcoming race include Rosemary Wanjiru and Dorcas Kimeli while Ethiopian competitors were her greatest threat but she was hopeful of emerging the winner owing to the rigorous training she has dedicated time for in the last few months.
“My passion for running started way back in primary school where I participated in school races and when I was 15 years old when I represented the country for the first time in the 2005 in Morocco World Youth Championships where I emerged position one” Chepkirui said.
In 2017, Chepkirui competed at the World championships in London where she clinched position 7 in the 5000 meters race at a PB of 14:54:05.
According to Chepkirui, the last 16 years in athletics have been fruitful as she has earned her stripes and managed to upgrade the lives of her parents by building them a state of art house and also acquiring pieces of land.
“Athletics has not only been my passion but also has been my lifeline since I have managed to bring developments to my family and relatives and I am currently mentoring and sponsoring two young male athletes who I am optimistic will take the mantle from me and represent our nation in world races and emerge winners” said Chepkirui.
First Vice Chairman Athletics Kenya Kericho County Gabriel Kiptanui was expecting positive results from Chepkirui in the upcoming race in Germany saying that she was dedicated and consistent in her training and had tremendously improved which was a good sign that she would break the world record.
“The discipline and commitment that I have seen with Sheila all through her training sessions is very encouraging and I am hopeful she will break the record in Germany” said Kiptanui.
Kiptanui who is also the athletes’ coach in Kericho mentioned that other internationally recognized athletes preparing for various up-coming world races in his training camp include; Caroline Chepkemoi who is a marathon racer, Patrick Rono who has represented Kenya in the World Youth Championship and Miriam Cherop who has represented Kenya in Africa Cross Country.
“I also train upcoming athletes who are still young and talented and this has helped them engage constructively instead of involving themselves in vices such as drugs. So I urge the youth in Kericho who have no jobs to come and train with us and maybe they could earn a living through athletics in future.” said Kiptanui.
Kiptanui said he is currently training 30 athletes in his training camp in preparation for the Kenya Cross Country series next month among other races which include; World Cross Country Championship, Commonwealth Championships and World Championships scheduled for next year.
By KNA team