•Simiu says his friends, family and coach have stood by him since he was dropped out of Team Kenya to the World Championships in Doha for failure to meet anti-doping rules.
•He came second behind Nicholas Kimeli in the 5,000m final at the national trials on Saturday.
•The two have vowed to work together to ensure a clean sweep of the podium places at Tokyo.
After making the athletics team to the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games, Daniel Simiu has promised to win a medal in the men's 5,000m as a token of appreciation for all those who have supported and encouraged him since 2019, when he missed out on the World Athletics Championships in Doha.
The 2021 San Silvestre Vallecana 10km champion was all set to fly the Kenyan flag in the 5,000m in Doha before he was dropped out of the team for failure to meet the anti-doping regulations.
Simiu admits it was the most painful time of his life and would not have pulled through had it not been for a strong social support system, including his coach, family and friends — who kept encouraging him not to lose hope.
"I was very discouraged after 2019 but I am so happy that finally making the team. There is a God in heaven and his time is always the best. My family and friends kept encouraging me all through that trying time, telling me to keep working hard and that everything would pay off eventually. I want to promise you I will work hard and give my all in Tokyo to repay your trust and faith by bringing a medal back home," a clearly ecstatic Simiu said.
Simiu fought a tough battle with his Iten neighbour, Nicholas Kimeli in the men's 5,000m during the national trials for the Olympics in which the latter timed 13:02.87 to emerge the winner. Simiu clocked 13:05.05 while Samuel Chebolei finished third in 13:17.43.
Simiu was also full of praise of Kimeli, describing him as a true friend who has been a source of encouragement on and off the track.
"He is my good friend who has been giving me words of advice ever since the disappointment of 2019. During the race, he kept encouraging me to push on and reminding me that both of us had already made the qualification time for Tokyo. I was so inspired and vowed to keep going even if it meant crossing the finish line on my knees," he said.
The Kenyan trio now have the unenviable task of clinching the country's first-ever Olympics gold in the men's 5,000m in over three decades since John Ngugi at the 1988 Seoul Olympics.
They will have to ward off the threat posed by double world champion Mukhtar Edris of Ethiopia and world record holder, Ugandan Joshua Cheptegei.
Nonetheless, Simiu concurred with Kimeli, who said they are not fazed by the threat posed by the two giants.
"We will work together to bring, not only a gold medal, but a clean sweep of the medals. I believe with much training to refine our weak areas, this is not impossible."