NAIROBI, Jan. 7 (Xinhua) — Since missing in the 2019 worlds, Daniel Simiu Ebenyo is slowly establishing himself as one of the best track distance runners in Kenya as he aims to build his profile and put his name alongside some of the greats in world athletics.

Ebenyo, 25, who trains in Iten, Kenya’s town in the Rift Valley known for producing numerous world athletics beaters over the years, has already ushered in the 2021 season with a victory after winning the elite-only San Silvestre Vallecana 10km in Spain on Jan. 3 and has put his eyes on making his much-awaited national team debut.

“It was cold and windy conditions, I have never experienced that kind of weather before, but I’m grateful I managed to get the result I wanted to start the year,” Ebenyo told Xinhua on Thursday.

“My 2021 mission is to make the national team to the global championships, but first I want to win the national cross-country champions to secure ticket to the World Cross Country Championships scheduled for Australia in March, then embark on 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games preparations for 5,000m event, my ultimate aspiration is to win medals for Kenya the season,” Ebenyo added.

Commenting on the 2019 Doha World Championships missed opportunity, Ebenyo who picked up running while still a student at a high school in Laikipia County in 2016 said he learnt his lesson and decided to work hard patiently.

“It was a painful experience when I learnt that I won’t be allowed to go to Doha World Championships because I had to fulfill some requirements, it was not my fault though, I was a relatively unknown runner then and I wasn’t in the testing pool and nobody expected me to qualify either,” Ebenyo recalled.

“But I believe everything happens for a reason, because the incident inspired me to work harder, I eventually started posting good results both in Kenya and abroad,” said Ebenyo who is coached by Eric Kogo.

He also disclosed his admiration of Geoffrey Kamworor, the two-time New York marathon and three-time world cross country champion.

“I admire Kamworor, I always watch on YouTube how he executes his races, whenever I’m free and apply his tactic on my races, I just want to emulate him and compete on all the surfaces, track, cross country and road races just like him.

My wish is also to compete against him either in Kenya or abroad soon,” Ebenyo added.