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Faith’s triumph in Tokyo inspires youthful Chepkirui and Boinet

ATHLETICS By Ochieng Oyugi | August 12th 2021
Purity Chepkirui on way to winning the 1500m women final during the Athletics Kenya Trials World U20 Championship at Moi Intetnational Sports Centre Kasarani in Nairobi, Kenya on July 03, 2021. [Stafford Ondego, Standard]

Purity Chepkirui and Winny Jemutai Boinet believe they have what it takes to ensure the medal remains at home in the forthcoming World Athletics U20 Championships slated for Nairobi next week.

Chepkirui,18, who hails from Nakuru County is happy to have secured a ticket to the event after missing last year’s Africa Cross Country Championships in Togo which was cancelled due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

“The training is going on well and finally I will have a chance to represent my country,” Chepkirui told Standard Sports.

“I was worried about the coronavirus pandemic but now I feel this is a great opportunity to grow my talent.”

Chepkirui was inspired to take up athletics as a sport three years ago after watching local athletes conquer the world on television.

“I just want to win the way they do. Watching Kenyans win on the global stage gives me the motivation to be hopeful and continue with my training,” she said.

Chepkirui is currently focused on improving her speed work and race execution at Team Kenya’s residential training in Kasarani, Nairobi.

On the other hand, Boinet says she was inspired into the sport by her role model Faith Chepng’etich Kipyegon.

Kipyegon recently retained her gold medal in the women’s 1,500m at the Tokyo Olympics with an Olympic record time of 3:53.11. 

Purity Chepkirui leads pack in the 1500m women final during the Athletics Kenya Trials World U20 Championship at Moi Intetnational Sports Centre Kasarani in Nairobi, Kenya on July 03, 2021. [Stafford Ondego, Standard]

“She won my heart when I saw her win a medal in the women’s 1500m in Rio Olympics. I then promised to myself to replicate her performance one day,” said Boinet.

“I liked how Faith again perfectly executed the race at the Tokyo Olympics. It was tactical; she just made it look very easy. I hope I will be able to match her prowess one day.”

Boinet believes that she can be a world champion with consistent training, discipline and confidence.

The 18 year old from Burnt Forest in Uasin Gishu County says she will also take up challenge in the women’s 5,000m category where she believes she also has a great potential.

Meanwhile, Poland is the first country to arrive in Nairobi for the World Athletics U20. 

The central European nation has brought a contingent of 36 athletes and officials jetted into the country on Monday. About 115 countries are expected to take part in the biannual championships.

Kenya topped the teams standings in last edition held in Tampere, Finland in 2018.

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