Steeplechaser targets steeplechase gold
Eunice Jepkorir’s 3000m steeplechase silver medal at the 2008 Beijing Olympics stands out as the only Olympic medal for Kenya in the event.
Kenya has already assembled its forces in the water and barriers women’s race for the Rio Olympic task.
World queen Hyvin Kiyeng will be leading the fight alongside Africa cross country silver medallist Beatrice Chepkoech and Lydia Rotich.
Kiyeng who earned a surprise gold at the World Championships in Beijing last year is pregnant with expectation.
She has been tipped to shine in the event owing to her current form.
“I have trained well focusing on the best in Rio. My dream is to be the first woman to strike gold for Kenya in the Olympics,” Kiyeng said while training at Chepkoilel track in Eldoret before departing for the Brazilian city.
She was brilliant at the IAAF Diamond League meetings, and there is no doubt she can break the jinx.
Kiyeng won the Shanghai and Oslo meetings and placed second in Eugene behind Ruth Jebet of Bahrain.
The 9:00.01 she clocked in Eugene placed Kiyeng as the third fastest steeplechaser in history.
With stiff competition posed by Ethiopian, Tunisian and Bahraini athletes, she is ready for the battle.
Already Olympic champion Habiba Ghribi of Tunisia, Olympic bronze medallist Assefa Sofia of Ethiopia and Kenyan-born Ruth Jebet of Bahrain are itching for the title.
Kiyeng will be meeting with Ghribi for the second time after snatching gold from her in Beijing only settling for silver medal.
“I competed in Moscow but didn’t do well but got a lot of experience together form Beijing. What is needed is only to be focused and plan how to dilute the challenge from outside in order for us to win gold,” She added.
She believes that this is the year for Kenya to get a maiden gold in Olympics.
“But surprises normally happen because everybody in the final is a threat but I am ready for the challenge,” she added.
Courtesy of the-star.co.ke