Kericho born athlete world record holder in 10-mile road race and gold medalist Bernard Kibet is ready to take on another challenge at the World Athletics Championships in Budapest, Hungary.
The World Athletics Championships games will be held in August 19 and end on August 27, 2023.
In an interview with the gold medalist at Kericho Green stadium during a training session of seasoned and upcoming Kericho athletes, Kibet expressed optimism that he will improve his speed and clinch gold for Kenya.
“Am now preparing for World Championships in Budapest and I think am in good shape and I pray to God to give me enough energy and strength so that I achieve my goal of getting gold. I run long distance from 5,000m to marathon. Am now training for 10,000m Budapest and I want to achieve 26.55 as my personal best time. The best thing is to qualify for the trails,” said Kibet.
He advised upcoming athletes to train with dedication in their running careers and avoid distractions for them to emerge the best in their disciplines.
The athlete trains under Coach Gabriel Kiptanui who doubles up as Athletics Kenya (AK) First Vice Chairman Kericho branch.
Speaking to KNA, coach Gabriel Kiptanui said Kibet is dedicated and disciplined in his trainings both in Kericho and Japan and has posted excellent personal best times and was hopeful that he will do well and bring home gold.
“Kibet has great potential and is talented in his track disciplines. We are training to ensure that he is in good shape,” said Kipanui.
The 23-year-old broke the seventeen years record set by Haile Gebreselassie at the 39th edition of the Kumamoto Kosa 10-mile road race held last year on December 4 in Japan clinching gold with a new course record time of 44:04.
The seasoned athlete also won gold in the World Athletics Gold Label 10 km road race at Ras Al Khaimah Half Marathon held on February 11, 2023 in Iraq with a personal best time of 58: 49.
Kiptanui trains more than 25 athletes. He said the region has great potential for producing great runners with many having brought home medals after competing in world athletic championships.
Runners in Kiptanui’s stable include female long distance runner and 2015 steeplechase world champion Stella Chelangat, 2019 800m silver medalist 2019 World U20 in Tampere, Finland Kipngetich Ngeno, 2013 World U18 1500m steeplechase gold medalist Robert Biwott, and the reigning world 3,000 steeplechase champion Beatrice Chepkoech.
By Sarah Njagi