Steeplechase champion Chepkoech eyes world cross country title, launches season in Seville

Source: Xinhua| 2019-01-13 19:14:39|Editor: mym
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NAIROBI, Jan. 13 (Xinhua) -- Steeplechase world record holder Beatrice Chepkoech will launch her season campaign in Seville, Spain on January 20 competing at the Cross International de Italica.

Chepkoech is an accomplished athlete in flat events as she proved at April's Commonwealth Games when she landed the 1,500m silver medal clocking a personal best time of 4:03:09.

She anchored Kenya to gold in the mixed relay at the 2017 IAAF World Cross Country Championships in Kampala.

However, this time round, she intends to compete in the main race where she eyes to win gold for Kenya at the World Cross Country Championships in Denmark in March.

"This season is just getting started. I have laid out my plans for next month's Kenya's trials for the World Cross Country Championships and should I make the team, I target the senior women's title," said Chepkoech.

However, Chepkoech, 27, will be up against some strong names including Olympic 5,000m silver medalist Hellen Obiri, former Africa 10,000m champion Alice Aprot and Celliphine Chespol.

In Seville, Chepkoech, who is also the African Championship gold medalist, will battle for honors with Gete Alemayehu of Ethiopia and European 5,000m and 10,000m champion Yasemin Can.

There are also Uganda's Stella Chesang and Esther Chebet while Portugal will have 2009 World Championships bronze medalist Sara Moreira.

"I want to run against the best so that I can gauge my preparations. The 2019 season will be busy and it requires a lot of planning. Hopefully, I will be able to withstand the pressure and do well. What is important now is getting back into the competition mood," said Chepkoech.

The IAAF Diamond League and the World Championships will offer two platforms for Chepkoech to test herself against the best. But she also believes she can run faster in the water and hurdle distance.

"I have no plans yet about the world record, but I know I can run faster. The World Championships is here and it is my prayer to run in Qatar and win. I also intend to retain my IAAF trophy," she added.