By Oscar Pilipili
With 17 days to 2012 London Olympics Games, Kenyans will for the next 120 hours temporarily shift attention to Barcelona where budding talents shall be chasing top honours in the IAAF World Junior Championships starting today.
Kenya has clinched overall title on three occasions (2000 in Chile, 2006 in China and 2010 in Canada) since the event was inaugurated in Athens, Turkey, in 1986.
Although Kenya has impressive track record, what is raising concern is the fact that they have never retained the overall title.
But the pedigree of the runners the country has dispatched to Barcelona has raised their chances of finishing top on this occasion.
Kipruto, whose global leading time of eight minutes 08.93, insists they are ready to defend the title they won in Canada two years ago.
Kipruto, who is one of the most experienced athletes in the Team Kenya, travels to Barcelona one month after finishing fifth in the Samsung Diamond League in Doha last May. He also took part in the World Challenge held in Kawasaki Japan in April and finished second in his speciality.
Kenya’s dominance in this event should continue, having won every year since 1988, but who will it be this time?
Kipruto and teammate Kiplangat Kirui had a one-two finish in the 2,000m steeplechase event last year and have improved to 8:08.92 and 8:11.27 respectively over the longer distance this year.
Kenyan youthful Olympian Faith Chepngetich, who is another medal prospect in Barcelona, will be looking to add another world title to the ones she won at the World Youth Championships and World Cross Country Championships last year.