By Gilbert Wandera
When Kenyan athletes line up in London later this month, attention will be on the men’s long distance races.
This is due to the fact that the country has not done well in a long time in the 5,000m and 10,000m events.
With this in mind, Isaiah ‘Chairman’ Kiplangat one of the country’s representatives in the 5,000m event admits that there is a lot of pressure on them to end the bad run and believes they can do it in London.
Being his first time to represent the country in the Olympic games, Kiplangat said: “So far the training has been going on very well and we all believe that this time around we will be in the medal brackets,” he said.
Apart from Kiplangat, others in the team include Edwin Soi and Thomas Longosiwa.
Kiplangat’s confidence is further enhanced by the fact that he finished third during the Paris Diamond League two weeks ago where he clocked his Personal Best Time of 12:48.64. “We have trained well in the three weeks and this was evident when we ran in Paris where I was able to achieve my Personal Best Time. I am very impressed by the performance and it gives me lots of confidence going to London,” he added.
Kiplangat said he has a lot of confidence in the current Kenyan team considering how the trials went at the Nyayo National Stadium.
“We could not have had any better team than this. I strongly believe we got the best after the trials at the Nyayo National Stadium,” he pointed out.
Kiplangat won gold in the 2009 World Youth Championships in Athletics in Brixen, Italy, where he ran in the 3000m steeplechase and set a new world youth leading time of 7:51.51
He also took part in the 2010 IAAF World Cross Country Championships in Bydgoszcz, Poland, finishing fourth in the junior men’s race.
On February 11, last year, Kiplangat became just the fourth man to run the 5,000m indoor under 13 minutes when he clinched victory in 12 min 53.29 sec at the PSD Bank Meeting in Düsseldorf.