The national junior team that took part in the just ended World Junior Championships in Barcelona, Spain jetted back on Tuesday with 1,500m champion Faith Chepngetich sounding a warning to her seniors ahead of the Olympics.
Chepngetich, who left her rivals trailing in her wake on Sunday at the Olympic Stadium in Barcelona is part of the 1,500m team that will be hoping to bring back the gold medal won by Nancy Jebet Langat four years ago in Beijing.
“I am going to train hard while in camp at Kasarani. I will strive to do my best as I take on my seniors head on. My aim is to finish in the top four at the Olympics,” said Chepngetich after being welcomed back by her jovial father Samuel Koech.
Chepngetich will be joining 3,000m world indoor champion Hellen Obiri and Eunice Sum in the 1,500m team for the Olympics.
800m bronze medalists Edwin Kiplangat who also jetted back on Tuesday morning said his third finish was not a disappointment.
“I admit the race was very tactical, we miscalculated as we were waiting for the last kick but it was too late to catch up with Bostwana’s gold medalist Amos Nijel.
“I went to Barcelona to win but I have accepted the result,” he said. He also cautioned Team Kenya in the 800m race at the Olympics, asking them to be cautious of Ethiopia’s Mohammed Amman and Amos Nijel.
“Amman is the biggest threat. We are aware he hasn’t participated in any major competition and he has taken a back seat.
“In Barcelona Nigel pretended to have been injured and we should guard against that in London,” he said.
10,000m silver Philemon Cheboi’s father John Cheboi Wendot who was on hand to receive his son said he shed tears upon receiving news of his son winning a silver medal in Barcelona.
“I didn’t manage to go to the shopping centre to watch my son compete because it was late but got an update from his school teacher that he had won silver and I was overwhelmed,” he said.
The team that landed at the Jomo Kenyatta Airport at 6:30am were received by jubilant family members who had braced the chilly Nairobi weather to welcome back their triumphant children.
Mursik (sour milk) which has been a common feature at the airport when Kenyan teams are coming back after a successful outing abroad came in handy especially for the juniors who have been away in Europe for long.
The juniors are expected to be feted at their various homes to celebrate their achievements in Barcelona according to Koibatek Athletics Kenya secretary general Geoffrey Kokoyo.
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Faith Chepngetich World Junior Championships Atletics Kenya