Kiplagat seeks to impress

Cyrus Ruto beats Davis Kiplagat to win men's 10,000m finals during the national trials at Nyayo stadium on June 23, 2017.PHOTO.DENNIS OKEYO

Commonwealth Youth Games champion Davis Kiplagat has vowed to impress during the IAAF World Championships in London next month.

Competing in men's 5,000m, the teenager is keen to steal the show.

The 19-year-old Kiplagat, who is one of the youngest members of the squad, will team up with Cyrus Ruto, winner at the national trials, and Josephat Kiprono.

The trio hopes to qualify for the final when they line up on August 9, the sixth day of the championships.

Kiplagat had instrumental and vibrant performances in his youth and junior ranks. He made his national debut at the 2015 Africa Junior Athletics Championships in Ethiopia, where he won silver before winning gold at the Africa Youth Championships in Mauritius.

He took his formidable form to the World Under-18 championships in Cali, Colombia, where he lost the battle to his friend Richard Kimunyan, settling for silver.

"Missing out last year really motivated me to do well and I made up my mind to switch to the senior ranks. Going to the trials, I was sure I would make the cut," said Kiplagat, the last-born in a family of six.

"I'm motivated to do well in London. I was there earlier this month in the Diamond League races, where I finished sixth but with a personal best of 7:38."

"My siblings were active athletes, but none of them made it to the elite world. They did not get enough support. I'm counting myself lucky," said Kiplagat.

Ruto, who will also be making his national debut at the games, is determined to leave a mark in London.

Ruto did not make the team to last year's Rio Olympics, but he's determined to make amends.

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