NAIROBI, Kenya – Olympic women 1500m champion Faith Chepng’etich Kipyegon has tipped teenager Edna Jebitok to grow into a world-beater after her podium performance at the just-concluded Nairobi 2017 IAAF World Under-18 (WU18) Championships.
Despite the class seven pupil at Keringet Estate Primary School settling for bronze in the girls’ 1500m race, the 2015 Worlds silver winner says she has immense belief in the youngster.
“Having seen her train from a tender age, I know she will come good and win many medals for the country,” Chepng’etich added.
The 4:09.48 world junior record holder from the 2013 edition of the WU18 Lille, France stressed the Keringet area of Kuresoi South, in Nakuru County, has produced several champions.
“You don’t have to look further for inspiration. Ferguson Rotich, Isaiah Kiplangat and marathon champion Geoffrey Kirui, are some of the big names from that area and I think that is enough motivation for Jebitok,” she said.
On her part, Jebitok, said pain on her left leg slowed her quest to land gold but promised to follow in the footsteps of her mentor, Chepng’etich starting at next year’s World Under 20s.
“I was poised for a win but I felt pain in my left leg and I couldn’t gather enough energy to push me through. I am not impressed. I should have won gold at home,” the Kenyan was quoted on the IAAF website.
Ethiopian pair Lemlem Hailu (4:20.80) and Sindu Girma (4:22.14) braved the intimidating atmosphere of the jam-packed Moi International Stadium, Kasarani to secure the 1-2 for their nation.
Jebitok was resilient in third, reaching the finish in 4:23.16 despite struggling with injury in the last ever edition of the WU18.