Olympic 3,000 metres steeplechase champion Conseslus Kipruto is optimistic that he will run under eight minutes over the distance when he lines up for the Monaco Diamond League race next Friday at the Stade Louis II in Monte Carlo.
He is also confident of lowering the world record in the event. Soon.
Nation Sport caught up with him at St Francis Chepterit High School track where he was doing his final speed work before heading to Europe for his first outing this season.
The world champion said that he has done adequate training despite the challenges he faced with training facilities. As a result, he has been forced to train along the roads.
"I have had enough time to train since March when all the races were cancelled owing to the coronavirus pandemic. I am happy I was invited for the Monaco race. I'm looking forward to the race which I want to run under eight minutes," said Kipruto. He is using the race to test the waters for his big agenda to break the world record time, which is held by Kenya-born Qatari Saif Saaeed Shaheen (formerly known as Stephen Cherono) at seven minutes, 53.63 seconds.
"I will be using the race to gauge my performance as I prepare to lower the world record time which has been out of the country for a long time. If I'm the Olympic and World champion, what makes it hard for me to break the world record? posed Kipruto.
Kipruto has set up barriers at his home, which he has been using for training.
He has also been doing long runs and speed work to help boost his performance.
"I had to create barriers at home because there are no training facilities, we have been struggling so much.
"The barriers have been of good use because I wanted to improve on my jumping techniques," said Kipruto.
He is grateful to the Ministry of Sports through the Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohamed and Athletics Kenya, led by the President, Jack Tuwei, who intervened to have athletes receive the Schengen visa after Kenya was blacklisted as one of the countries not allowed to travel to Europe. The athletes travelling to Monaco will be required to have a Covid-19 test 72 hours before the trip.
"I will be travelling to Eldoret to have a Covid-19 test at the Lancet Laboratory and the same will be done in Nairobi before we leave for the race because we need to have a certificate for the last 72 hours before we get to Monaco," added Kipruto.
He will be joined by his training mates Abraham Kibiwott, who will be competing with him and Vincent Kipchumba, a pacesetter.
Kibiwott, who is also the Commonwealth Games silver medallist, said that he was prepared for the race and was happy to be among the few athletes who will compete this season.
FOLLOWING IN HIS FOOTSTEPS
"I'm looking forward to a good run and I'm happy that I was invited among the few selected athletes to compete. I have always been inspired by Kipruto and that is why we always train together as one way of motivating one another," said Kibiwott.
Kipchumba, a Form Three student at Kosirai High School, said that he feels privileged to pace for his training mates among other athletes. "I have been training for the last few months and I'm happy that I was given a chance to set the pace for my training mates. Kipruto has always been my inspiration and I'm following in his footsteps," said Kipchumba.