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Kamworor reaps fruits of his love for athletics

Geoffrey Kamworor cuts the tape to win 10km men race during the IAAF Permit/National cross country championship at Nairobi's Uhuru Gardens on Feb 13, 2016. [PHOTO:DENNIS OKEYO/STANDARD]

Geoffrey Kamworor and Peris Jepchirchir’s athletics scripts read like those of most Kenyan world-beating athletes –they draw inspiration from other great athletes.

For Kamworor, he had unbridled love for athletics from his childhood, but haboured no interest in full-time athletics.

The 23-year-old did not look outside his village for inspiration –he comes from a region with a rich list of athletics pedigree in 5,000m and 10,000m.

Within a radius of 10-kilometres from his home in Keiyo South, live the world’s long distance greats among them double world champion Vivian Cheruiyot, former Military Games 5,000m champion Sammy Kipketer and Kenyan-turned-Qatari Albert Chepkurui.

As a young boy, Kamworor could sneak from home during weekends to the nearby athletics-rich Kapkenda Girls High School, where he peeped through the live fence to watch world-beaters train.

Former Olympic 1,500m champion Nancy Jebet Lagat, former world 3,000m champion Veronica Nyaruai and former world cross-country silver medalist Prisca Jepleting are among globe-trotting stars, who studied at the school.

“I loved the sport from childhood. I am happy that I can realise my dreams here to win a second title. This performance is confirmation that I can break the 21km world record in future,” said Kamworor.

Not bad for a boy, who performed well in English and had trained his sights on becoming a lawyer. Incidentally, he is a policeman and will always enforce the law.

“I knew athletics would enable me get a scholar to USA and pursue a degree in law. That's why I loved English language so much,” said Kipsang.

But according to Joel Ruto, Kamworor's games teacher, who spotted his running talent, advised him to take up athletics seriously.

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