Paris Olympics: We Will Wrestle Bakkali, Girma-Ezekiel Kemboi

CAPTION: Double Olympics champion Ezekiel Kemboi during Team Kenya partnership with CFAO Mobility Solutions in Nairobi on Monday June 24, 2024. PHOTO/ COURTESY

ELDORET, Kenya- Men’s 3000m steeplechase race used to be a Kenyan affair until former champions Ezekiel Kemboi exited the scene and Conseslus Kipruto became a pale shadow of himself.
Plans are now on board to ensure the country returns to its glorious days in the 7.5 lap water and barrier contest.
Relevant authorities have put up their heads together to ensure Kenya gets its grip on the race and one of the resolutions made by the Sports Ministry, Athletics Kenya (AK) and the National Olympics Committee of Kenya (NOC-K) is to bring Kemboi on board.
The double Olympics champion is currently with the Kenyan steeplechase team in Eldoret where he is coaching and mentoring the squad of six ahead of the Paris 2024 Olympics to be held in France on July 26- August 11.
The men’s team is composed of Amos Serem, Simon Koech and Commonwealth champion Abraham Kibiwott.World record holder Beatrice Chepkoech headlines the women’s side alongside Faith Cherotich and Jackline Chepkoech.
“I have been studying these athletes for two years now, they are relatively young with the exception of Kibiwott and Beatrice who are much more experienced. I’m happy the duo is imparting their vast knowledge of the game  on the others at the camp,” Kemboi told Standard Sports.
As a tactician, Kemboi is pacing the team to gain speed and endurance and also to be mentally tough ahead of Paris.
In Paris, the men’s team will have a daunting task tackling defending champion and double world winner Soufiane El Bakkali of Morocco who has managed to stamp his authority in the race for a while.
The other dark horse in the contest is the double world record holder (indoor and outdoor) Lamecha Girma of Ethiopia whose eyes are also on the prize.
“The battle in France is not easy, so the only medicine here is to do proper training, no short cuts,” Kemboi declared.
” I feel honoured to be engaged with this squad, I believe the sessions I’m having with them will bear fruits in Paris as our target is to return home with gold,” he underlined.
Kemboi also has a strong feeling that Kipruto, once believed as his able replacement, is not yet done on tracks. Kemboi believes the 2016 Olympic champion can still pull triggers at international meets when given a chance.
“He (Kipruto) is still young. Though plagued with injuries, he has potential to make a major comeback, with proper training and mental focus. I think time is still on his side,” Kemboi said.

After retiring from active running, Kemboi has been engaged in business at his home town in Eldoret where he has also been undertaking athletics courses coaching. He plans to venture full time in athletics as a tactician next year.Kemboi is grateful to NOCK, AK and Sports Ministry for believing in his abilities by entrusting him with the Kenyan steeplechase chase squad for the Olympics.
“I thank Sports Minister Ababu Namwamba who granted me the mandate to exercise my authority, through coaching and mentorship on the team. I’m forever grateful,” Kemboi said.

Kenya’s steeplechase squad for Paris 2024 Olympics


-Amos Serem

-Simon Koech

-Abraham Kibiwott


-Faith Cherotich

-Beatrice Chepkoech

-Jackline Chepkoech

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