The 1,500metres queen Faith Chepng’etich and 5,000metre ace Hellen Obiri target to graduate to 5,000m and marathon races next year respectively.
They made the revelations on Monday evening after jetting back from the Tokyo Olympic Games, where Chepng’etich succeeded in retaining her 1,500m title, while Obiri also bagged a silver medal in the 5,000m.
Chepng’etich beat stiff opposition from her main rival Dutch woman Sifan Hassan, who had to settle for a bronze medal after Great Britain’s Laura Muir bagged silver.
Twenty-seven-year-old Chepng’etich completed the four-lap race in three minutes, 53.11 seconds, breaking the 33-year-old Olympic record set by Romanian Paul Ivan.
“My target remains in 1,500 metres this year, but I intend to start mixing 1,500m and 5,000m from 2022. My focus now is to complete the 2021 Diamond League season and later on start preparing for the 2022 World Athletics Championships in Eugene, Oregon, United States,” said Chepng’etich.
On her record-breaking exploits, Chepng’etich said, “I thank Sifan for my new record. I never expected it, but she pushed hard in this race which helped me in achieving it and I’m happy I did it while defending my Olympic title.”
She said she will rest for a few days and then head to the US for the Eugene leg of the Diamond League slated for August 21.
Obiri, 31, said she is going back to training.
“I will start competing in 10-kilometre and half marathons and maybe in one or one-and-a-half years, move on to the marathon. It’s not easy to move to the marathon, but with discipline and focus, I believe that I will achieve my target,” said the two-time 5,000m world champion.
The two stars returned home together with Winny Chebet and Edinah Jebitok, who were unlucky in the 1,500m race after they got bundled out in the semi-final stage.
The four, who were accompanied by coaches Bernard Ouma and Francis Kamau, received a warm welcome at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport on arrival from the Ministry of Sports led by Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohamed, as well as officials from Athletics Kenya.
Meanwhile, newly-crowned 800m Olympic king Emmanuel Korir and silver medal winner Ferguson Rotich also arrived back home early on August 9 from Tokyo where Kenya finished 19th overall with 10 medals.