By John Kwoba
NAIROBI, March 20 (Xinhua) -- African Cross Country winner Celliphine Chespol wants to follow the example of Olympic 1,500m champion Faith Kipyegon of Kenya to dominate at Commonwealth Games and the World Championships.
Chespol, who graduated to the senior ranks this year, hopes the absence of the Olympics and world Championships this season will help her develop and learn new skills, just the way Kipyegon did when she emerged at the 2014 Glasgow, Commonwealth Games.
Kipyegon progressed to win at Olympics and World Championships.
The 18-year-old proved her talent when she won in Chlef, Algeria in the senior women's 10km race and now turns her focus to the Commonwealth Games, which will be held in Gold Coast, Australia from April 4-15.
"It felt good to win at senior level in cross country. Now the pressure is on me to win in Gold Coast, which will set my tone for the season as we head to the IAAF Diamond League," Chespol said on Tuesday in Nairobi.
Chespol, who is also the World Junior 3,000m steeplechase champion, will partner with Sandra Chebet in their quest for medals in the water and hurdles event.
Her counterpart Alfred Barkach, who was representing the country for the first time in Algeria, could hardly hide his joy after a tight finish.
Barkach relied on his endurance and speed to deny Ugandan Thomas Ayeko the much-coveted title.
Barkach won the race in 30:47 as countryman Julius Kogo sneaked past Ayeko at the finish line to take silver in 30:47 forcing Ayeko to settle for bronze in 30.47.
Kenyan women are undefeated in 10,000m, having conquered since Scots Yvonne Murray's victory at the 1994 Victoria, Canada Games. They have gone to win the next five editions.
That is why Chebet, Stacy Ndiwa and Beatrice Mutai have a battle at hand to uphold the legacy in the 25-lap race.