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Our faith looks up to thee 1,500m Olympic gold medallist Faith Chepngetich

ATHLETICS By Bismarck Mutahi in Tokyo, Japan | August 3rd 2021
Faith Kipyegon wins 1,500m heat at the Olympics, yesterday. [AP]

1,500m Olympic gold medallist Faith Chepngetich says the heats yesterday was all about qualification to the next round considering the harsh conditions that the athletes were racing in at the Olympics Stadium.

Faith said this is not the time to talk about her rivals or even the medals ahead of the semi-finals even though she still said she was keen to retain the title she won in Rio in 2016.

All the three Kenyan runners qualified for the semi-finals after the heats at the Olympics Stadium.

But it was not straight forward as conditions on the track were punishing with temperatures soaring to 37 during the second and third heats.

Faith and compatriots Winny Chebet and Ednah Jebitok were just happy to have gone through to the semi-finals set for tomorrow at 1pm.

“These were very tough conditions. The heat was too much and we had to rely on ice a lot here. I am happy we have made it to the semi-finals,” Faith told Standard Sports as she held an ice pack at the mixed zone after the race.

“I am not going to talk about my rivals here. We are yet to compete in the semi-final and then the final. Racing in a championship though is not easy. The Diamond League is a bit easy because of pace setters but it’s tough here, but we can talk about that later,” she said.

She, however, promised to do her best.

Faith won heat three in 4:01.40 with her teammate in Global camp Uganda’s Winny Nanyondo joining her in the semis.

On the other hand, Chebet booked her place after finishing third in heat one that was won by Great Bitain’s Laura Muir.

The first six athletes across the line are assured of a place in the semi-finals with another six fastest losers from the three heats also sailing to the semis.

Chebet clocked 4:03.93, but was just happy to reach the semi-finals.

“There was too much heat and I felt like I was not breathing. It is tough out there, but I am just happy that I have reached the semi-finals,” Chebet said.

It was, however, not straight forward for Jebitok who raced in the second heat that had of pre-race favourites Sifan Hassan of Netherlands.

Jebitok was tripped in the final lap of the race.


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