NAIROBI, July 15 (Xinhua) -- Olympic 1,500m champion Faith Kipyegon from Kenya has signed up with coach Patrick Sang to train her on return to competition after 18-month maternity leave.
Ahead of the London Diamond League meeting on Saturday, Kipyegon is dreaming of winning gold at the World Championships in Doha, Qatar in October.
"I'm looking forward to Doha and given the late timing of the World Championships this year (following my return from pregnancy), " Kipyegon said on Monday from Eldoret.
Kipyegon, 25, has also shifted her training base from Keringet in Nakuru to Eldoret to join Sang, a former steeplechase world silver medalist, who also trains world marathon record holder Eliud Kipchoge and former New York marathon champion Geoffrey Kamworor.
"It is a big motivation to run with them," Kipyegon said. "I enjoy running with the whole group and one day I look forward to becoming a marathon runner, just like them."
However, she is focused on dominating the track now. Her new coach still compares notes with her former coach Bram Som, the 2006 European 800m champion.
"It made sense to join Patrick because I now live in Eldoret," Kipyegon told world athletics governing body IAAF. "Sang's training camp is just 45 minutes away in Kaptagat and I knew Patrick before I came to Eldoret. Bram and Patrick still talk to one another about my training. To be honest, my training now is quite similar to what it was before. I really enjoy being with Patrick; he is a really nice person and a caring coach."
Kipyegon made her long-awaited return with a stunning 1,500m win in 3:59.04 at the seventh stop of the Diamond League meeting in Stanford in the United States last month.
"After being out for such a long time, you don't exactly know where you are at, so it was great to test myself at the Prefontaine Classic meeting," says Kipyegon.
Following Doha, her major goal in 2020 is to target the Tokyo Olympics, where she hopes to become the second woman in history to claim back-to-back Olympic 1,500m titles before a potential move in distance up to the 5,000m.
Kipyegon has won every title from her elementary days starting with World Youth (Under-18), World Junior (Under-20) championships and senior titles at the Olympic and Commonwealth Games.
Prior to her self-imposed maternity leave, Kipyegon had only lost three races in 14 finals between 2016 and 2017. She was the undisputed world's leading woman at 1,500m during those two seasons.
But Kipyegon made the decision to start a family with her husband, Timothy Kitum, the 2012 Olympic 800m bronze medalist.
"It was always my plan to have a baby in 2018 and take a break from the sport," explained Kipyegon.