Kenya’s Faith Chepngetich Kipyegon celebrates after winning the gold medal in the women’s 1500-meter final during the World Athletics Championships in London Monday, Aug. 7, 2017. (AP )

When Olympic 1500m champion Faith Chepng’etich ran a blistering 1:58.26 inside Khalifa International Stadium at the Diamond League meet in Doha, last Friday, the sporting world was dazed.

Reason? Athletics analysts and commentators wondered if the track assassin is ready to do a double (800m and 1500m) at the Tokyo Olympic Games that run on July 23-August 4.

But she says first things first: “I must first congratulate our coach Patrick Sang and management of Global Sports Communication camp here in Kaptagat. They have really helped us. We now have a track here. Others don’t.

“Going to Tokyo Olympics as the defending champion is something that our nation is waiting for result. Let me say I will do all I can. Pressure is too high and 1500m at the moment is a tactical race. Of course, I am under pressure, as the defending champion. There are many newcomers coming up.”

“I keep my medal on the wall in my house. At the moment, my daughter asks me where I won this and that….I have many. It’s good having them,” she said when asked about the medals she has won.

But if all goes well as per plan, Chepng’etich said, she is ready to double. “Doubling is not easy. Let me, my coach and management, look at it first.”

Chepng’etich is now a woman with varied lifestyle interests.

In 2007, she literally benched Ethiopian superstars who Kenyan men drool over in beauty and style at the World Athletics Championships inside Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in East London.

The then new world champion is no longer that little girl from far-flung Ndabibit Village in Kuresoi, Nakuru County –who is best remembered in global athletics circles for running barefoot to finish fourth at the World Cross Country Championships in Bydgoszcz, Poland, in 2010.

If you meet her in her room at Global Sports Communication camp in Kaptagat listening to a mix of Tanzania Bongo Music super star, Diamond Platnumz music you will confirm her unbridled love for the Tanzanian Bongo music.

Her well-manicured lips, the pink-dyed finger nails, the bright face and blow-dried soft hair tells a lot about Chepng’etich, who made her maiden trip abroad on July 4, 2011 for the IAAF World Youth Championships in Lille, France.

She has come a long way from the clean-shaven Winners Girls High School, where she raced her peers to the ground as a junior.



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