Je­bet tar­gets gold at world cross coun­try

World 3,000m steeple­chase recorder seeks to ex­tend her dom­i­na­tion into next year’s global show in Kam­pala

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

Af­ter Olympic suc­cess, world women’s steeple­chase record holder Ruth Je­bet of Bahrain is tar­get­ing her maiden cross coun­try title in March next year in Kam­pala.

“My next fo­cus in my ca­reer is to run at the world cross coun­try next year. With God’s favour and train­ing, I hope I will do well,” Je­bet said.

With a steeple­chase world record and im­pres­sive sea­son per­for­mances, Bahrain’s Ruth Je­bet is op­ti­mistic the world will as­cend her to the World Ath­lete of the Year throne.

The 19-year-old Kenyan-born ath­lete, who com­petes for Bahrain is among the list of 10 fe­male ath­letes nom­i­nated for the IAAF award. “I was very ex­cited when I heard the news that I had been nom­i­nated for the award. I never ex­pected that and it is my prayer that God ful­fils what he has started,” Je­bet said.

Ac­cord­ing to her, making the cut into the list of nom­i­nees for the top award was a re­flec­tion of her su­per sea­son with good per­for­mance. “I think it’s all about my achieve­ments on the track this sea­son. I am ask­ing the world to vote for me,” she added. Je­bet set a new world steeple­chase record 8:52.78 at the Paris Di­a­mond League in August, slash­ing off more than six sec­onds. This was af­ter she missed it nar­rowly at the Rio Olympic Games when she won gold in 3000m SC.

Apart from the Olympic suc­cess and a record, Je­bet was im­pres­sive in the IAAF Di­a­mond League sea­son, up­stag­ing world cham­pion Kenya’s Hyvin Kiyeng for the top hon­ours.

Je­bet was a grad­u­ate of the Kenya Sec­ondary School Sports As­so­ci­a­tion (KSSSA) games be­fore switch­ing her al­le­giance to Bahrain in 2013. She won 3000m SC gold at the Asian Champs same year and went on to snatch vic­tory at the 2014 World Ju­nior Cham­pi­onships in Ore­gon.

The IAAF is set to an­nounce the top male and fe­male ath­letes dur­ing the gala set for De­cem­ber 2 in Monaco. Je­bet is in the list along­side— Al­maz Ayana, Ruth Beitia, Vi­vian Cheruiyot, Ken­dra Har­ri­son, Ca­ter­ine Ibar­guen, San­dra Perkovic and Caster Se­menya among oth­ers.

Elsewhere, dou­ble world and Olympic cham­pion Mo Farah has con­firmed that his race at the Müller An­niver­sary Games on July 9, 2017 will be his last at the IAAF Di­a­mond League fix­ture in the Bri­tish cap­i­tal. “2017 will prob­a­bly be my last year com­pet­ing on the track so I’m re­ally look­ing for­ward to run­ning in front of my home fans in Lon­don,” said Farah, who suc­cess­fully de­fended both his 5000m and 10,000m Olympic ti­tles at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games. “It will be a very im­por­tant com­pe­ti­tion for me in the build up to the world cham­pi­onships so hope­fully I can run well and put on a great show for the fans.”

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