•Simiu reckons he has what it takes to romp to the medal podium at the premier annual global showpiece if he seals a spot on the Kenyan team.
•His remarks come days after he blazed to victory at the 2023 Okpekpe 10km International road race in Nigeria on Saturday, where he clocked 28.28 to set a new course record.
Commonwealth Games 10,000m silver medalist Daniel Simiu has vowed to continue pounding the track indefatigably with sights firmly trained on a ticket to August’s World Championships in Budapest, Hungary.
Simiu reckons he has what it takes to romp to the medal podium at the premier annual global showpiece if he seals a spot on the Kenyan team.
In an interview on Tuesday, Simiu said he had honed his skills well enough to assert authority in Hungary.
His remarks come days after he blazed to victory at the 2023 Okpekpe 10km International road race in Nigeria on Saturday, where he clocked 28.28 to set a new course record.
Simiu stood atop the podium after fending off a stiff challenge from compatriot Brian Kwemoi (28.40) and Ethiopian Yasin Hagi (29:34).
“I was happy to win in Nigeria. It gave me the confidence I need as I prepare for the World Championships. I knew that running against the former champion, Hagi wasn’t going to be an easy task,” Simiu said. “I’m delighted with the new course record I’ve set especially coming on an unusually damp day,” Simiu said.
Simiu confirmed he will gauge his level of preparedness for the global bonanza at the National Police Service track and field Championships scheduled for June 7 at Moi Stadium, Kasarani.
The 27-year-old cop has pledged to obliterate the field at Budapest’s National Athletics Centre on the banks of the Danube en-route to a historic triumph.
“My focus is now on the World Championships. I strongly feel I will make the team to Budapest and return with a medal. What’s encouraging is that I already have the qualifying time,” Simiu said. However, he is yet to decide whether he will plunge into the 10,000m or the 5,000m race.
“Whatever race I eventually choose, my goal is to win a medal. I’m keen to better my silver-medal achievement at the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games,” Simiu said.
Either way, Simiu must prepare to flex muscles with two-time world 10000m champion Joshua Cheptegei who bagged titles in 2019 and 2022 and won silver in 2017.
Cheptegei is also the reigning Olympic champion in the 5000m and silver medalist in the 10,000m as well as the 2019 World Cross Country champion.
He similarly won gold medals in the 5000m and 10,000m at the 2018 Commonwealth Games. “I believe I can upset the form book and defeat him to bring home the gold medal,” Simiu remarked.
This will be Simiu’s second World Athletics Championship if he is selected for the Kenyan delegation.
Despite finishing second in the 5000m trials in 2019, the Athletes Integrity Unit ruled him ineligible to fly the country’s flag at the championships.
That was after he failed to fulfill the mandatory three out-of-competition tests as prescribed by law.
Simiu made the squad to Oregon last year, finishing tenth behind Norwegian Jakob Ingebrigtsen, Kenya’s Jacob Krop, and Uganda’s Oscar Chelimo.