This is the fourth day of the Nike Talks World Indoors Series. Thanks to Nike Sports Marketing, @runblogrun will provide a Monday-Friday story on a key athlete from US, Great Britain, Europe, Africa and Asia. On the weekends, we will go back in World Indoor history and provide a favorite moment. This sponsorship goes from January1-March 5. We hope you enjoy. And please check out www.nikerunning.com. Remember to support our sponsors. They are supporting the heart of running.
Today, we are writing about World Champion, Elijah Manangoi today!
And always remember to check out www.wicbirmingham2018.com
Elijah Manangoi is one of the finest middle distance runners from his homeland of Kenya. Early in his career, Elijah was a 400 meter runner and hoped to stay with that distance. Elijah ran 46.5 in the 400 meters, taking fourth in the Kenyan National championships in 2013. Later that year, at the World Trials championships, taking sixth in the 47.33 in the 400 meters, not making the Moscow 2013 championships.
Elijah was heart broken. He had wanted to compete in the championships at the 400 meters. During his training for the 400 meters, the part he liked the most, was workouts like 3 x 800 meters. His elementary school coach, Brother Colm O’Connell had told Elijah that his future was in the 1,500 meters. In an interview with the IAAF, Elijah told the media that Brother Colm had said something extraordinary about him: “I also remember my old coach Colm O’Connell telling me I could one day become world 1500 metres champion.”
After the Moscow disappointment, Elijah Manangoi moved up to the 1,500 meters, taking the advice of Brother Colm O’Connell and enlisting the assistance of his Coach Robert Ouma, who had coached Elijah since 2012 and moved him from the 400 meters to the 1,500 meters.
Most of us became aware of Elijah Manangoi as he represented Kenya at the 2014 Commonwealth Games. He made it to the final, which is pretty impressive in a first major championships. Elijah took twelfth in the final of the 1,500 meters in 3:45.47. Elijah had a tendon injury during the Commonwealth Games, and he could not use his amazing speed to help him medal in Glasgow.
2014 was really his first year racing 1,500 meters, and with the full year of 2015, Elijah really started to shake things up, running 3:29.67 at the famous Monaco Herculis meeting in July 2015, placing sixth.
A month later, Elijah was ready. Learning from his first major championships in a big way, Elijah Manangoi surprised many in his second championships, the World Champs in Beijing in 2015.
He ran well in 2016, but, in Rio, was injured once again, and did not make the final. Injuries are the bane of all athletes and Elijah was frustrated. He knew he could race better, and was reminded of his racing as a kid, over the 100 meters and 200 meters. Manangoi had started running at the age of 12, and he told media that soon after his entry into athletics, people recognized his talent.
Elijah Manangoi has 35 siblings, as his father had five wives. His little brother, George, recently won the U18 World in Nairobi, Kenya last summer.
Elijah recovered from his 2016 injury with the support of his coach, who found that water training (Aqua Jogging) really helped Manangoi regain his fitness.
I was lucky to watch Elijah Manangoi win the always competitive 1,500 meters in Doha in May 2017. Just before London, Elijah ran the WL of 3:28.80 for the 1,500 meters at the Herculis Monaco meeting in July. Elijah was ready to roll!
Have you ever run a perfect race? Well, in London, Elijah and team mate Timothy Cheruiyot made it through the rounds. World Championships and Olympic championships for 1,500 meters finals can be slow as molasses or fast and furious.
This one was pretty fast. Elijah Manangoi followed Timothy Cheruiyot through the final lap and then, using his tremendous speed, Elijah made his move. It was perfect, and Elijah ran away from the finest runners in the world, taking gold in London and showing the world that Elijah Manangoi is the man, and will be around for a long time.
Elijah Manangoi has now focused on the World Indoor Championships and return to the Commonwealth Games. Elijah has plans, big plans and he wants to see gold medals in both events in 2018.
The young Kenyan, Elijah Manangoi, who moved up from 100 meters to 400 meters, and now to his perfect event, 1,500 meters, knows he is at the right distance.
What will 2018 bring? Well, we will get to watch Elijah Manangoi race indoors before Birmingham, and then, show his speed on the boards for the World Indoors Birmingham 2018!