It has been a long five years since a Kenyan broke a world record in athletics, and that’s why we applaud Beatrice Chepkoech’s Friday night exploits in the women 3,000m steeplechase.
She clocked 8:44.32 at the Monaco Diamond League meeting to shatter the previous record of 8:52.78 held by Bahrain’s Ruth Jebet, formerly of Kenya. This means Chepkoech is the first Kenyan to hold a women steeplechase world record despite the country’s triumph over the water and barriers race at the global scene.
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After the race, Chepkoech said this was a product of hard work she had put in at the beginning of the season. The last world record for Kenya was in 2013 set by Dennis Kimetto in the Berlin marathon.
While we celebrate Chepkoech her for her latest show in Monaco, we urge upcoming youngsters to work harder and be focused.
And as she basks in glory today, Chepkoech should not rest on her laurels, but work even harder to not only ensure the record remains in Kenya, but also demonstrate to the world that the showing in Monaco was not a one off.
Her triumph should also encourage other athletes especially the men steeplechasers to strive and bring back the world record over the distance which is held by Qatar’s Saif Shaheen.
Our dominance over steeplechase should not only show at World Championships, Olympics or Commonwealth Games where we win medals, but also by the records we set. It is down to the likes of Conseslus Kipruto and others to bring the steeplechase record home.