Why world record holder Chepkoech is always a step ahead of the rest
World steeplechase record-holder Beatrice Chepkoech is happy that she is gradually realising her dream in athletics.
The Kericho-based athlete is equally stunned by her meteoric rise in the sport since her first attempt at the worlds in London, two years ago.
“I was so inexperienced by then. I felt bad when I lost in London, finishing a distant fourth," she said.
“It was my first time to run for my country, but now I know all the secrets in the race.“
The 28-year-old is elated to have broken the record in the race at the Doha Worlds last year in her second attempt.
Buoyed by her amazing form, Chepkoech believes she was poised to win a gold medal in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, which have since been postponed to 2021.
She claims she doesn't foresee any threat from Ethiopians, who have been Kenya’s perennial rivals in the race at the global stage.
Chepkoech, who completed a hat-trick of wins at last year's Diamond League series, admits her only challengers in the category are world U-20 title holder Celliphine Chespol, former world champion Hyvin Kiyeng and African Youth champion Fancy Cherono.
The Continental Cup winner insists she is under no pressure to perform in any championship as her fitness has been sharpened by the Diamond League series and the numerous races she has taken part in.
She reveals the secret to her world-beating techniques is the strict training under head coach Gabriel Kiptum in Kericho.
She does long morning runs on Mondays, before switching to stretches in the evening.
Tuesdays are her days for speed work and gym sessions in the evening. Wednesdays are for long runs while Thursdays and Saturdays are for speed work on the track.
The Commonwealth silver medallist says injuries have been giving her nightmares, adding that they have the potential messing up career of any budding athlete.
She admits that what keeps her going are inspirations from world marathon record-holder Eliud Kipchoge.
“Through him (Eliud), I have learnt to be disciplined, humble, friendly and being a role model to other competitors."
“I also thank former steeplechase champions Milcah Chemos and Ezekiel Kemboi for setting the pace in the discipline,” she added.
When she's done destroying her opponents in steeplechase, Chepkoech wants to major in half marathon and road races.
Before she steps on the track for any major competition, Chepkoech whose favourite dish is ugali (posho) and managu (amaranth), says she watches inspiring video clips to calm her nerves.
Her advice to upcoming athletes is to cultivate discipline in training and to be patient if they intend to reap big in the game.
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