National junior team 800m runner Agatha Jeruto is seeking to emulate her mentor Pamela Jelimo when the 2012 World Junior Athletics Championships get down in Barcelona between July 10 and 15. Jeruto said she has been monitoring as well as seeking words of wisdom from the Olympic champion and hopes to bring home a medal in appreciation.
The form four student at Riruta Central, and who coincidentally hails from Kapsabet, just like Jelimo, said she has put so much in her training and it will be a great honour to just make a podium finish in Barcelona. "I know it will be tough but I am ready," said the 18-year-old. "I have had to serve two masters (training and learning) and I know my perseverance and sacrifice will pay off." "I have been juggling training and learning. I have had to wake up very early to honour my training before coming back for my classes," she explained. Jeruto will be line up as a lone rangers in the girls' 800m race but this does not in any way dwindle her hopes. "I don't want to think about it (that I will be running as the only Kenyan)," she said. "I am just focused on representing the country to the best of my ability."
She said the mood at their residential training camp at YMCA South C has been great with every athlete taking care of the rest. Apart from Jelimo, She revealed that she has been deriving inspiration from other 800m greats from Kenya including world record holder David Rudisha, former world champion Alfred Kirwa Yego and Olympic silver medallist Janeth Jepkosgei. "They have taught me how to behave, train hard and remain focused in both my studies and athletics career," she said. Jeruto has previously won 400m silver at the 2010 Africa Youth Championship, gold at the 2011 edition of the event, finished fourth at the World Youth Championships in Lille last year and scooped silver at the East Africa regional schools championships this year.
Squad: Mike Mukamba (100m, 200m, 4x400m relay), Bonface Mweresa ( 400m, 4x400m relay), Duncan Ngaru (200m), Alphas Kishoyian (400m, 4x400m relay), William Mbevi (400m hurdles, 4x400m relay), Francis Wanguo (400m hurdles), Timothy Kitum (800m, 4x400m relay), Edwin Kiplagat (800m, 4x400m relay), Agatha Jeruto (800m), Dominic Mutuku (1,500m), Hillary Cheruiyot (1500m), Faith Chepngetich (1,500m), Nancy Chepwemoi (1500m), Mercy Chebwogen (3000m), Brillian Jepkorir (3000m), Conseslus Kipruto (3,000m S/C), Gilbert Kirui (3000m S/C), Daisy Kepkemei (3,000m S/C), Stella Ruto (3,000m S/C), William Sitonik Malel (5,000m), Moses Mkono (5,000m), Caroline Chepkoech (5,000m), Agnes Jeruto (5000m), Geoffrey Kirui (10,000m), Philemon Cheboi (10,000m) Isaak Kirwa (triple Jump).
Officials: Chife de Mission Rtd Gen Jackson Tuwei, Japheth Kemei (coach), Kenneth Tanui (assistant coach), Esther Kaptingei (chaperon), Silas Kibiwott (physiotherapist), Caxton Mithi (government representative), Zakari Mugambi National Bank of Kenya)