•Kabiririsang, a village known for producing top performing 800m runners including former Olympic Games 800m champion Wilfred Bungei and former world 800m champion Janeth Jepkosgei.
•The alumni of Kabirirsang Secondary School failed to compete for Kenya at the 2017 World Relays in Bahamas due to a last minute injury
With the Kip Keino Classic Nairobi Continental meeting two weeks away, reigning All Africa Games 800m silver medallist Cornelius Tuwei is keen to use the event to launch his athletics season.
Tuwei, who also competed for Kenya at the Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast, said he has been sharpening his skills at the Eldoret’s Kipchoge Keino Stadium ahead of the event set for October 3 at Nyayo Stadium.
The 26-year-old, who switched from 400m Hurdles to 800m comes from the Kabiririsang, a village known for producing top performing 800m runners including former Olympic Games 800m champion Wilfred Bungei and former world 800m champion Janeth Jepkosgei.
“I featured in 400mH until 2015 when I graduated from the Kenya Defence Forces college,” he said.
He added: “Now that the Continental Tour will be staged on home soil, I want to run my best. I am training here in Eldoret ahead of the event and I believe It will be a good opportunity for me to run my personal best before home fans.”
Tuwei, who trains under coach Eliud Kirarei, said he will use Kip Keino Classic as a build-up for next year’s Olympic Games. “I was stalled a bit in my training due to corona virus pandemic but I am now back and ready for Kip Keino Classic if granted a chance,” he said.
He added: “Immediately after Kip Keino Classic, I want to embark on my preparations for the Olympic Games in earnest. I was in shape for the event this year but after the postponement, It means I will start the journey afresh. There is no any other better way to launch my season than compete Continental Tour,” added Tuwei.
The alumni of Kabirirsang Secondary School failed to compete for Kenya at the 2017 World Relays in Bahamas due to a last minute injury after being named in the final team to the world show.
The Kenya Defence Forces man competed for Kenya at the Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast in 2019, where he finished outside the podium but returned strongly to win 800m silver at the 2019 All Africa Games in Rabat, Morocco. He also won a silver at the World Military Games the same year.
Tuwei said Bungei, Jepkosgei and his elder brother Edwin Letting inspired him to take up 800m. “They are role models from my area and I rely on them for guidance in the two lap race. It’s because of their advise that I switched from 400m to 800m. They are stars in their won right and their achievements are there for all to see,” he added.
Tuwei has a personal best of 1:43.82 in 800m set during 2018 Monaco Diamond League and hopes to feature in one of the Diamond League Series this year.