Krop is poised to reclaim title

By Dennis Okeyo: Friday, December 20th 2019 at 06:00 GMT +3 | Athletics
Jacob Krop during a training session at Chewoyet secondary school in kapenguria on December 18,2019. [Dennis Okeyo, Standard]

Jacob Krop, sixth at the 2019 World Athletics Championships in Doha, Qatar, is poised to be a star in the future.

The 17-year-old Krop, a Form Three Student at Chewoyet High School in West Pokot, stunned the sporting world when he made the national team to the global showpiece last October.

He is coached by Edward Moti alongside 50 other youngsters at Chewoyet camp in preparation for World Under-20 Championships set for Nairobi on July 7-12. The athletes come from Turkana, West Pokot and Trans Nzoia counties.

Athletics Kenya have set up 14 pre-trial camps to help identify talents ahead of the biennial competition set for Kasarani Stadium.

“This year has been amazing for me. I picked some tactics competing against senior athletes.  I picked a lot of experience in Doha and I am certain it will help me qualify for World Under-20 Championships team.

“I am happy with my progress since I picked athletics in 2017. I have big plans for 2020. First is to sit for my Kenya Secondary School Examinations, then Africa Cross Country Championships in Togo and ensure I win gold medal at the 2020 Nairobi World Under-20 Championships,” he said.

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Kenya has not won gold medal in men’s 5,000m since 2005 and Krop hopes that he will help the nation end the 14-year gold drought in the race.

“I know, as a country, we have been struggling to win gold medal in men’s 5000m and 10000m at major championships but I am determined to end the medal drought soon.

“I have seen the a huge competetive spirit among these athletes. It’s a big motivation for them and I am sure our camp will have athletes the national team.”

Robert Ng’isirei, one of the junior team national coaches, guides another under-20 camp at Kapkoimur Secondary School in Mosop Constituency, Nandi County. 

World 10,000m bronze medalist Agnes Tirop, former world cross country champion Irene Cheptai and two-time world 3,000m steeplechase champion Conseslus Kipruto are some of the top runners who developed their athletic careers at Kapkoimur. 

“We have great potential in this camp. Interestingly, all the 50 athletes camping here have competed at national primary and secondary school games. The major challenge we have experienced so far is the lack of training facilities,” said Ngisirei. 

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