Justin Lagat will be providing up a view from Kenya during the 2018 Commonwealth Games. This is his first column on the 2018 Commonwealth Games.
Some of the big track stars from Kenya to watch out for at the Commonwealth Games:
Kipruto’s ultimate plan is to have all the 3000m steeplechase gold medals from all the world major competitions. So far, he is very lucky that he already started with the heaviest ones. He won the Olympic Gold medal in Rio where he set a new Olympic record of 8:03:28 as well. He won the second gold medal at the IAAF world championships in London last year. If he could do that in Rio and London, then winning in Gold Coast will definitely be easier for him.
Speaking to the press as he finalized his training, he says he believes that the training has gone well; the way he had planned with his coach and that he is expecting to do well in Australia.
With the absence of Genzebe Dibaba and Siffan Hassan, the women that have always given great challenges to Obiri in the women 5000m race absent in Gold Coast, Obiri is most likely to take advantage of her great experience here to win over the relatively new names entered in the 5000m event. With the confidence that Obiri will draw from the absence of her usual big challengers, her chance of winning a gold medal here looks very high.
However, in athletics there is always a time for a break-through from a new star and it could be a time for a new comer in the women’s 5000m to establish her name as well.
Manangoi is Kenya’s team captain to the Games. Being the reigning world 1500m champion and a silver medalist from the 2015 Beijing world championships, he is one of the athletes to watch in Gold Coast. One challenger with the greatest potential to upset him is his countryman who was second to him in London; Timothy Cheruiyot.
After almost missing to jump over the first water barrier during last year’s London world championships in the women 3000m steeplechase event and finishing 4th both at the Olympic Games and the world championships, it appears as though Chepkoech has decided to move to the 1500m event to try her luck there.
This move has yielded much success within a short time as she just won the IAAF world indoor tour and set a new national indoor record early this year. The Gold Coast Games will present another opportunity for her to prove to the world that she is now a force to reckon with in the women 1500m.