Nairobi — World marathon record holder Brigid Kosgei has termed it a dream come true being selected into Kenya's team for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.
The 26-year old will be representing Kenya in any event for the first time in her career and she was top of the pick after her illustrious season in 2019 that saw her break Paula Radlciffe's 16-year record after running 2:14:04 to clinch the Chicago Marathon title last year.
"It has always been my dream to represent Kenya at the Olympics and I am more than excited to be in the team. I have looked forward to this moment for a very long time and it is some immeasurable joy for me," Kosgei stated.
She believes together with Vivian Cheruiyot and reigning World Champion Ruth Chepng'etich, they will form a strong team and will be capable of a clean medal sweep when the marathon is held in the city of Saporro in August.
"I believe we have a very strong team with Vivian, Ruth and myself. We are capable of making a clean sweep at the Olympics and that is what I am aiming at. Personally, I would want to win gold because this will be a chance for me to claim a future place in the Kenyan team," the soft spoken Kosgei stated.
Kosgei who has been running since she was 17 has predominantly been a road runner and has a rich CV that puts her ahead of the pack when she heads out to the Olympics.
In 2019, she won both the Chicago and London Marathon titles. In 2018, she won her first Chicago title and silver in London while in the 2017 campaign she clinched bronze in Chicago.
Her other Marathon victories have come in Milano, Porto, Lisbon, Honolulu and Boston.
As she prepares for the Olympics, her immediate focus will be on April's London Marathon where she hopes to complete a double, with both Ruth and Vivian also set to compete.
"Winning London will be very big for me because it will give me a lot of motivation heading to the Olympics. That is what I am preparing for right now and hopefully I do well. The good thing is that Vivian and Ruth will also run so it will give us a good platform to test ourselves," she stated.
She however knows it will not be an easy task defending her title in London but notes she will not crumble under the pressure of carrying a 'world record holder' tag on her shoulder.
"Definitely London is never an easy race and there will be lots of quality athletes running there. I am determined and focused because I know the task at hand," she stated.
On her WR achievement;
"It was one of the best days of my career and I believe it sets my profile higher. It will not work to put pressure on me but instead motivate me to work even harder," Brigid noted.
As she prepares for the Olympics, she knows only too well that championship and individual races are two different competitions, but believes she can quickly adjust to the demands of a championship race and go on to win her first title for Team Kenya.