IDOL vs ADMIRERS

Jebitok, Chepkurui eager to meet two-time Olympic champ Kipyegon at Kip Keino Classic

Saturday's meeting offers a chance for redemption for the 19-year old who will be competing for the second time after finishing fourth in last year's edition.

In Summary

•Jebitok was one of the country's three representatives at August's Tokyo Olympics in the women's 1500m alongside Kipyegon and Winny Chebet

•Jebitok also finished ninth at the Brussels Diamond League a week ago, in a race won by Kipyegon

•Former World Under 20 5000m champion Edward Zakayo will be hoping to rise from the ashes when he competes in the 12-lap race on Saturday

Edinah Jebitok in action at Moi Stadium, Kasarani during the national trials to the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.
Edinah Jebitok in action at Moi Stadium, Kasarani during the national trials to the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.
Image: ERICK BARASA

The 2018 Youth Olympics 1,500m Edna Jebitok says she can't wait to line up against Olympic champion Faith Kipyegon at Saturday's Kip Keino Classic at Moi Stadium, Kasarani. 

Jebitok described the double Olympic champion as an inspiration to many young runners in the 1500m having started out from the junior ranks to the pinnacle of the world. 

"There is a huge history with Keringet Camp in Nakuru County, they keep producing top athletes in 1,500m. We take inspiration from those that have gone through the camp like Olympic winner Faith Kipyegon. On Saturday it will be exciting to once again face her and other top athletes," the 19-year old said. 

Jebitok was one of the country's three representatives at August's Tokyo Olympics in the women's 1500m alongside Kipyegon and Winny Chebet. 

However, it ended on sour note for the youngster as she finished 13th in the second semi, clocking 4:05.56. 

She had earlier suffered the ignominy of being tripped over during Heat 2 of the race in Tokyo although she was subsequently given a bye into the semis. 

Jebitok also finished ninth at the Brussels Diamond League a week ago, in a race won by Kipyegon.  

Saturday's meeting offers a chance for redemption for Jebitok who will be competing for the second time after finishing fourth in last year's edition where she timed 4:07.42.

Kipyegon herself has previously praised the youngster as one with a bright future ahead in athletics. 

"She is still a young runner and has a bright future ahead of her. I wish her well. Sometimes, disappointments are a part of life," Kipyegon said after Jebitok failed to make the finals of the women's 1500m. 

Also eager to race against her idol in Kpyegon is World Under 20 champion over the distance Purity Chepkurui.

Writing on her Facebook page, she said: “Happy that, at last, I am meeting my icon and mentor Faith Kipyegon…not only for face-to-face but in the race I love most…1,500m at the KipKeino Classic Continental Tour Gold.”

Chepkirui was on the top of her game, winning the seventh gold for Kenya at the World Under 20 Championships at the Moi Stadium, Kasarani about a month ago.

The young athlete who aims to compete at the 2024 Olympic Games won the title in 4:16.07 ahead of Ethiopia's Diribe Welteji (4:16.39)while another Kenyan, Winnie Jemutai took the bronze medal in 4:18.99.

Elsewhere, former World Under 20 5,000m champion Edward Zakayo will be hoping to rise from the ashes when he competes in the 12-lap race on Saturday. 

Zakayo has been missing in action for close to two years due to injury woes, including a hip injury that put paid to his Tokyo Olympic dreams. 

"It has been challenging to be out of action for this long. Thankfully, I have recovered and am ready to go. Injuries need a lot of mental toughness. I am hoping I can return better, faster and stronger," he said. 

Kip Keino Classic will be the last of this year's World Athletics Continental Tour Gold series, which has thus far been held in Torku (Finland), Ostrava (Czech Republic), Eugene, Walnut and Boston (United States), Hengelo (Netherlands), Chorzow and Bydgoszcz (Poland), Székesfehérvár (Hungary) and Zagreb (Croatia).