Cheptai hints at calling time on track to concentrate on road race

BIRMINGHAM, United Kingdom, Aug 4 – Kenya’s long distance runner Irene Cheptai hints she could call time on her track career to concentrate on marathon.

She admitted that her career as a track athlete is almost certainly over after she bagged a silver medal at the on-going Birmingham Commonwealth Games women’s 10,000 meters.

Irene Cheptai in action, leading in the women’s 10,000m at the 2022 Commonwealth Games in Birmingham, United Kingdom. Photo/KELLY AYODI

Cheptai nevertheless told Capital Sport that she has her options open.

“I am not sure if this is going to be my last track event, but I will see what my manager and coach have in store for me.”

“But I don’t see myself sticking to track racing for long. I may be headed to the marathon God-willing.”

Kenya’s Irene Cheptai (Right) and Sheila Chepkirui (Left) celebrating after winning silver and bronze during the 2022 Commonwealth Games in Birmingham, United Kingdom. Photo/KELLY AYODI

About her elusive gold in Birmingham, Cheptai said it was not her day.

“This was definitely not an easy race, I gave my all but I thank God I was able to return with a medal,” Cheptai said after losing to Eilish McCoulgan of Scotland who ran a Games record of 30.48.50.

“She only beat me with the kick, It was not my day or what we had expected as a team. I started kicking early that’s the miscalculations that cost me.”


Kenya’s Sheila Chepkirui celebrating bronze medal after coming third in the Women’s 10,000m at the 2022 Commonwealth Games. Photo/KELLY AYODI

Sheila Chepkirui, on the other hand, settled for the bronze medal.

She said: “I am happy with the bronze medal. We had a plan to run as a team, but it reached a point where this couldn’t work and I let Irene go because of the injury.”

She noted that Kenyans needed to work a lot more on their finishing power especially in the last 100 meters.

“I want to nurse my injury and try out a few road races. “I’m not done with the track though. God-willing, next year I will be back at the World Championships.”

“It’s my time in the Commonwealth Games and I am overly excited about it, this was my third time at senior level. Outside Africa its my first time to win a medal.”

-Alex Isaboke is reporting from Birmingham, United Kingdom-

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