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Jepkosgei back in training, looks forward to 2014

14 January 2014, 15:33

Nairobi - Former world 800m champion Janeth Jepkosgei is happy she has overcome an injury nightmare that threatened to force her into retirement.

However, she feels no pressure to deliver any medals at the moment. That assertion will not heart because in 2014, there is no major competition for the track and field athletes, without the Olympics or the World Championships.

"I have returned back to training. My injury is healed. But I feel no pressure and this will help me a lot in becoming the complete athlete I want to be in 2014. The challenge gets stiff everyday, but so is my resolve to do well at the highest level," Jepkosgei told Xinhua on Monday in Eldoret.

An Achilles tendon injury in August last year in Moscow cast more doubt on the ability of the 30-year-old to compete at the highest level.

It denied her a chance to try and win a medal for Kenya at the World Championships at the Russian capital.

"I was unlucky in Moscow. I had put in a lot in training. But injury is natural and subject to any athlete and I am no exception," Jepkosgei said.

"But as I said, I would be back and now is the time to prove to the world that I have gone through my rehabilitation and am ready to put my body on the line for that one more performance," she said Monday in Eldoret.

Seven years ago, Janeth Jepkosgei arrived at the international stage with little fanfare but with one target, run down Mozambique's Maria Mutola, the then queen of 800m race.

That was down under in Melbourne, where she started the deconstruction of Mutola's reign during the 2006 Commonwealth Games.

Jepkosgei beat Mutola nicknamed Maputo Express in the finals to win gold and put her on road to retirement.

That performance, for Jepkosgei then aged 23, earned her the title Eldoret Express, a trade name for one of Kenya's public bus company.

Well Jepkosgei expedition is not about to pull to its final destination and 2014 promises a new dawn on her career. If anything, the star for the 30 year-old is just but brightening.

"I have no immediate plans to start my focus on the Commonwealth Games. But it is an event I will compete in if called upon. There are more upcoming athletes yearning for the opportunity to run for Kenya in 800m distance. Well I will stake my claim and hopefully prove everyone wrong that am not a spent force," she said.

Jepkosgei has been in four world Championships - Berlin, Osaka, Daegu and Moscow - and two Olympic Games (Beijing and London).

She won gold in Osaka Japan in 2007, silver in Berlin in 2009 and took bronze in Daegu. Moscow, she was a non-starter.

But that has not disheartened her tenacity to rule again in the two-lap race. Though she has ruled out a test run in the demanding indoor circuit, Jepkosgei's voyage in 2014 looks destined for success.

"My body is back to shape. The injury is gone and all I need is to keep the focus down on the few races I intend to run," she said.

"This year, there is no pressure because we don't have the Olympics or the World Championships. But there are the Commonwealth Games and the Diamond League," Jepkosgei added.

"I want to do my best and these two championships will define my career and season. I hope to conquer my fears and critics all together."

- Xinhua

Tags athletics

WRAP: English Premiership

21 October 2016, 19:13

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