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'I WILL RETURN STRONGER'

Cheptai rues poor race tactics in 10,000m final

Team Kenya now have one gold medal, three silver, and three bronze and sit 14th on the medal table.

In Summary

•Cheptai came home second to Eilish Mcolgan in a sprint finish in an entertaining race watched by a capacity crowd. 

•McColgan is the daughter of Liz McColgan, who won gold in the 10,000m in the 1986 Commonwealth Games in Edinburgh, Scotland and 1990 in Auckland, New Zealand respectively.

Irene Cheptai with her silver medal at the 1000m event at the Commonwealth games
Irene Cheptai with her silver medal at the 1000m event at the Commonwealth games

Former World cross country champion Irene Cheptai has revealed that she miscalculated her final lap in the 10,000m final at the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham.

Cheptai came home second to Eilish Mcolgan in a sprint finish in an entertaining race watched by a capacity crowd. 

 “I should not have taken off early to beat McColgan to conserve my energy for the final 200m but in the final stretch, I was too tired," said Cheptai.

Cheptai said the plan with bronze medallist Sheila Chepkurui was to finish 1-2.  "I'm delighted with the silver medal. We came with a plan to win gold and silver but it did not work out, so we live to fight another day," she added. 

Cheptai looked on course for Kenya's first gold medal of the event but was overhauled by McColgan in a sprint duel down the final 100 metres with the Scotswoman winning in a championship record of 30:48.60.  Cheptai settled for silver in 30:49.52.

Kiprotich finished a distant third after picking an injury in 31:09.46 to win bronze.

McColgan is the daughter of Liz McColgan, who won gold in the 10,000m in the 1986 Commonwealth Games in Edinburgh, Scotland and 1990 in Auckland, New Zealand respectively. Cheptai said she will  now turn her focus to road races in the next two weeks.

"I plan to run a 10k road race but I am confident I will bounce back stronger during next year's World Championships and Olympics Games in 2024,” said Cheptai. 

On her part, Chepkirui said an injury curtailed her speed in the final 10 laps of the race. "I got injured and dropped off the pace. I could not keep pace with Cheptai and Mcolgan but I am happy to win a bronze for my country," she revealed. 

Chepkirui said the injury has been persistent since her days in camp and hopes to be injury-free come next season. “ I will come back stronger next year hopefully injury-free and competitive,” she noted.

Team Kenya now have one gold medal,  three silver, and three bronze and sit 14th on the medal table.

Irene Cheptai in a past race
Irene Cheptai in a past race
Image: FILE
Irene Cheptai with her silver medal at the 1000m event at the Commonwealth games
Irene Cheptai with her silver medal at the 1000m event at the Commonwealth games
Irene Cheptai with her silver medal at the 1000m event at the Commonwealth games
Irene Cheptai with her silver medal at the 1000m event at the Commonwealth games