Youngster Rono hopes to emulate Eliud Kipchoge
Published on: March 29, 2021 07:57 (EAT)
National junior cross country champion Gideon Rono wants to follow in the footsteps of world marathon record holder Eliud Kipchoge. Rono, a 5,000m athlete who is barely getting his career going says he draws inspiration from the record-breaking heroics of the Olympic champion. Prior to shifting to road races, Kipchoge began his career in the 5,000m race, going on to dominate the discipline at the global scene that culminated in him winning a gold medal at the 2003 World Championships in Paris, France. “I want to be like Eliud Kipchoge. He has shown the world and especially us athletes that everything is possible when one trains hard. I also want to break many records in athletics as he has done,” Rono told Citizen Digital. The youngster who is writing his Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE) examinations at Sinonin Secondary School in Baringo County opened his medal account for Kenya when he clinched a bronze medal in 3,000m at the 2019 Africa Junior Championships held in Abidjan, Ivory Coast. After the cancellation of Africa Cross Country Championships, Rono has now shifted his focus to the World Under-20 Championships set to be held on August 17-22 in Nairobi. With 142 days left to the start of the global event, Rono said he will soon embark on a rigorous training regime as he seeks to impress on home soil this summer. “I am now focusing on the World Under-20 Championships. Immediately after completing my studies I will solely focus on training to win gold at Kasarani. My coach has taught me to train hard and win easy,” Rono told Citizen Digital. Despite the World Junior event coming just a week after the Olympic Games in Japan, Rono has not ruled out making a stab on the Olympics team. “Right now, it is about having confidence in myself. I don’t fear anybody but on the contrary I just focus on my race. I will try my best and if I make the team I will be more than happy to represent my country at the Olympics,” he said. Rono won the 8km junior race at the national cross country championships in February and was set to represent Kenya at the Africa Cross that was set to be held in Lome, Togo this month before it was cancelled due to coronavirus. “The competition has now been postponed twice but all the same I have not lost hope. I believe everything happens for a reason and our health is also a top priority,” he said. The teenage sensation who trains at Torongo Athletics Camp under the stewardship of veteran coach Barnabas Kitilit opened his track season on a high when he won the 5,000m race at the first leg of Athletics Kenya track and field meeting last month.