NAIROBI, March 23 (Xinhua) -- All Africa Games 1,500m gold medalist Quailyne Kiprop is disappointed that the continental cross country games have been called off due to coronavirus threat.
However, the 23-year-old said she will turn her focus to improve her fitness and make an attempt to break the world 1,500m record, which has remains standing since 2015 when Ethiopia's Genzebe Dibaba raised the bar to 3:50.07, while Kiprop's best time is 4:06.26.
"My focus was to win gold for Kenya at the Africa Cross Country championships in Togo. But the event has been called off because of the coronavirus. However, I will not let my time go to waste. My plan it to train better and for longer period, now that we have no competition lined up at the moment, and to return to action ready to break the 5,000m world record," Kiprop said on Monday from Kitale.
Kiprop was scheduled to compete at the Doha Diamond League on April 17 and though the event has not been postponed, the Qatar government is expected to call it off now that it has stopped all foreign nationals entering the Arab country to curb the spread of coronavirus.
"I want to break the 1,500m world record before switching to 5,000m. We are currently at home doing nothing and we even fear training because you never know the health of your partner after camps were closed," said Kiprop.
But Kiprop rues the missed chance to win an Africa cross country gold, which had been penciled in her to do list in 2020.
"I had two intentions this season, conquer Africa in cross country and win gold in Olympics Games. Now both seem to be far-fetched with the trend in the fight against coronavirus not showing any signs to end soon," she said.
On Saturday, the Confederation of African Athletics (CAA) called off the cross country competition in Lome, Togo.
"Following the COVID-19 pandemic, the Togolese government has sent a message to CAA to convey the concerns of organization of the events which were planned for Lome from April 6," said Lamine Faty, the CAA chief executive officer.
"The CAA President, in consultation with members of the executive board, took the decision to postpone the African Cross-Country Championships in Togo until 2021 and the Council meeting until new date to avoid any threat on these events planned in Togo and preserve the health of our athletes and members."