NAIROBI, Jan. 6 (Xinhua) — Kenya’s half marathon world record holder Kibiwott Kandie has shifted his focus on the 10,000m as part of his Olympic Games preparations, aiming to make it to the 2020 Olympic Games slated for July 23 to Aug. 8.
His plan to make a stab at the 10,000m may give Kenya hope at this event. Kenya has statistically been struggling in the event, having last won a 10,000m Olympic gold in Mexico in 1968 through Naftali Temu.
At the world championships, Kenya has not won the 10,000m gold in 20 years after Charles Kamathi triumphed in Edmonton worlds.
“I have the drive to prove to the world that I can also perform in track, that is why I made a decision to compete in a 10,000m event with the aim of securing an Olympic ticket. I will be more than happy to see the Kenyan flag being hoisted for the 10,000m in Tokyo,” Kandie, who trains in Ngong, an outskirt town of Nairobi told Xinhua on Wednesday.
“I know we, as a country, haven’t posted the best results in 10,000m recently but I believe with team work and early preparations we will be able to achieve good results in the Tokyo 2020 Games,” he added.
The 24-year-old Kandie picked up running in 2013 while still a student at Cheberen Secondary School in Baringo, some 216km northwest of Nairobi.
He made a breakthrough in running elite club by finishing second at the 2020 World Half Marathon in Gdynia, Poland before winning the 2020 Valencia Half Marathon, in world record time of 57:32.
Meanwhile, Athletics Kenya plans to select the probable runners for 5,000m and 10,000m and send them into the camp for preparations ahead of the national trials where the best will be selected.
The selected athletes will be required to undergo the mandatory anti-doping tests as required by the Athletics Integrity Unit.