World 800m champion Janeth Jepkosgei joined the Kenya Olympic sprinters camp as Athletics Kenya (AK) announced plans to revamp the sprinters’ training programme to enhance the country’s performance in future international events.
Jepkosgei, a policewoman who struck gold at the 2007 World Athletics Championships in Osaka, Japan, is getting down to serious business after suffering defeats at two recent international meets.
She has lost twice to the new kid on the block, Pamela Jelimo, a fellow Kenyan, friend and training partner. Jelimo beat Jepkosgei in the recent IAAF Grand Prix meet in Oslo, Norway.
The world champion jetted back into the country Tuesday and joined the camp Wednesday, marking her earnest preparations for the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing, China.
AK chairman Isaiah Kiplagat said he was happy Jepkosgei had joined the camp and was optimistic that those who had not done so would follow suit.
Kenyan athletes preparing for the Olympics have been split into two groups; while the sprinters are shaping up in Nairobi, middle and long distance runners are camping in Eldoret, about 300 kilometres west of Nairobi.
Kiplagat said he had consulted with sprints coach Steve Mwaniki on how best to spruce up the sprinters’ preparations ahead the Olympic Games.
Plans are underway to purchase equipment to be used by short distance runners to help them prepare for the 2009 World Athletics Championships in Berlin, Germany.
Kiplagat, IAAF council member, said he would lobby for the establishment of an African sprints Championship next year. Panapress .