Kipruto sol­diers on

Olympic cham­pion vows to re­turn for world 3,000m SC record next year

The Star (Kenya) - - Sports - BY STAN­LEY MAGUT @mgt­stan

Olympic 3000m cham­pion Cons­es­lus Kipruto will be back next year with his am­bi­tion of break­ing the 12-year-old steeple­chase world record.

Kipruto, who clocked of Olympic record of 8:03.28 in Rio and was chas­ing the 7:53.63 Saif Saaeed Sha­heen world record at the last IAAF Di­a­mond League in Brus­sels, said he is pre­par­ing for next year. The Olympic hero said this dur­ing his home­com­ing cer­e­mony at his Lu­tiet Vil­lage in Nandi County.

“I was very im­pressed by the Olympic gold be­cause it was my first time to run in Olympics and re­turned not only with the ti­tle but also the record,” he said. “I had in­ten­tions of break­ing the world record in my spe­cial­ity but things didn’t work out as ear­lier planned. How­ever, I prom­ise to ac­com­plish my mis­sion next year God will­ing,” Kipruto said. He set the 8:00.12 world lead­ing time at the Birm­ing­ham meet and ex­pec­ta­tions were high that he would erase the long-stand­ing record.

“Ev­ery­thing has its time. May be it was not my turn to break it. How­ever, I am tak­ing a break be­fore I start pre­par­ing for the World Cham­pi­onships next year in Lon­don,” he said.

Mean­while, the vil­lage busted into song and dance as the new kid on the block ar­rived home with Olympic gold and the Di­a­mond League tro­phy.

At hand to meet the Rio hero were four-time world 3,000m steeple­chase cham­pion Ezekiel Kem­boi, for­mer Olympic cham­pion Brimin Kipruto, steeple­chase greats Jairus Birech and Paul Kip­siele.

Oth­ers were Olympic Marathon cham­pi­ons Eliud Kip­choge (men) and Jemimah Sum­gong (women), world cham­pi­ons Ni­cholas Bett and As­bel Kiprop among oth­ers.

Nandi County gov­er­nor Cleophas La­gat prom­ise to fete ath­letes from the re­gion who won ex­celled at the Olympics.

Else­where, for­mer world 100 me­tres cham­pion Tyson Gay has traded the track for ice this week af­ter he en­tered to com­pete in the U.S. Bob­sled Na­tional Push Cham­pi­onships in Cal­gary.

The 34-year-old will make his ini­tial bid for a na­tional team spot de­spite only push­ing a sled for a “hand­ful of days”, ac­cord­ing to the U.S. Bob­sled and Skele­ton Fed­er­a­tion.

Gay was sus­pended from ath­let­ics for a year af­ter test­ing pos­i­tive for a banned sub­stance in 2013, and was stripped of his 4x100 me­tres re­lay sil­ver medal from the Lon­don Games.

The 2007 triple world cham­pion was part of the 4x100 re­lay team that was dis­qual­i­fied in the fi­nal at this year’s Rio Games.

/STAN­LEY MAGUT

Olympic 3000m king Cons­es­lus Kipruto (2nd left) and 3,000m steeple­chase team­mates cut the cake dur­ing his home­com­ing cer­e­mony in Nandi.

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