The Star (Nairobi)

2 March 2012

Kenya: Kiptum Declares He Is Ready to Shock Bigger Names in Istanbul

World youth championships 800m bronze medallist Timothy Kiptum says he is now ready to take on the world after graduating into the senior ranks. The 18-year old makes his debut on the senior ranks when he represents the country at the world indoor championships in Istanbul, Turky from March 9-11. The new sensation will compete for the world honours in a pairing that also includes Boaz Lalang. "I am well prepared. I have fully recovered from the hamstring injury that has been troubling me for some time," said Kiptum. "I know the race will be competitive but I am hopeful of making my mark. I am targeting a medal bracket finish."

He observed his last two outings have been a big encouragement after clocking 1:46.8 for fifth finish at the Stockholm indoor championships and also finished second at the Lievin indoor championships in a time of 1:45.2. The athlete, who trains at Nyeri under the Kenya Defence Forces deputy coach Sammy Macharia, observed that his performance in Istanbul will be of great significance on the direction his career will taking going

forward. "I am looking forward to the Olympics and the World Indoors will be a good place to gauge myself. It feels good to be in the national team and would like to be in the team to the Olympics," added Kiptum while attending yesterday's second Athletics Kenya sprints and field events training held at the Nyayo Stadium yesterday.

His coach, Macharia of Laikipia Air Base, observed that Kiptum's rise is a manifestation of what talent scouting and nurturing can do to young athletes. "I identified him (Kiptum) while he was in form four at Marakwet Boys High School and I took him to our training camp in Nyeri where he has grown both as a person and athlete," said Macharia. "He has shown great character and is a good listener. I think he is the next athlete to make a claim at the world record. I liken him to record holder and Kenyan-turned Dane Wilson Kipketer."

Kenya's David Rudisha is the current world record holder after clocking 1:41.01 in Rieti, Italy in November 2010. "He just needs to remain focused and maintain his character since he has one of the best I have not seen in a long time," added Macharia.

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