Chemutai looks to a bright start

Take off. Chemutai starts her World Championship dream today. PHOTO/AFP

What you need to know:

  • Tactical run. Olympic 3000m steeplechase champion hopes to ease through the Heats at the Oregon Worlds but for Chesang and Chelangat, it is the shot to medals.

Peruth Chemutai is walking her own line of history. She is the first female Olympic champion from Uganda to grace the World Athletics Championships.

When she produced a stellar display to beat a strong field and win the 3000m steeplechase Olympic title at the Tokyo 2020 Games on August 4, 2021, it didn’t sink in proper for her. 

May be it will dawn down on her when she is introduced by the stadium announcer and television commentators as she competes in the water-jump race Heats at the Hayward Field today. 

“I am good,” Chemutai said before departing Kampala on Tuesday. She looked very calm and relaxed, later engaging and laughing with her peers.

A day earlier, Chemutai had posted a picture on her together with her 

coach Addy Ruiter via her WhatsApp status. She rarely does that. 

That update though implies that her mentality is right and on paper, another big gold over the seven-and-a-half-lap race is achievable.

Since Tokyo, Chemutai has run twice at the Hayward Field during the Eugene Diamond League. 

The 23-year-old was vividly exhausted and did not prepare well following the Olympic title celebrations at home and then came a distant seventh on August 21, 2021. 

Good time

Then on May 28 at Hayward again, Chemutai posted her season best of 9:05.54 in fourth place and on June 6, she floored the field and oozed her customary smile towards the tape as she won at the FBK Games in Hengelo, Netherlands in a time of 9:14.00.

She is currently the fourth fastest woman over the distance in the world this year and only Kenyan-born pairing of Winfred Yavi (8:56.55) of Bahrain and Norah Jeruto (8:57.97) as well as Ethiopian Mekides Abebe (9:03.26) have run faster.

Chemutai warmed up for the track season by furnishing her endurance with a victory at the CrossCup de Hannut 6.5km Cross-country in Belgium on February 20 and second place at the Lille 5km in France on March 20. 

Certainly, she is a very good place to finish better than fifth place she got in the final three years ago in Doha but the work starts in the Heats.

The field of 45 runners from 25 countries will be hoping to make the race final through three Heats. 

The Kenyans in the field, including reigning world champion and record holder Beatrice Chepkoech and Celliphine Chespol, as well as experienced home girl Emma Coburn cannot be overlooked.

CHEMUTAI AT A GLANCE 

Born: Jul 10, 1999
Age: 23
Worlds Appearances: 
5th (Doha 2019), 
8th Heat 3 (London 2017)
Personal Best: 9:01.45
Season Best: 9:05.54

WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS 

TODAY - UGANDANS IN ACTION
Women’s 3000m SC Heats     8:35pm
Peruth Chemutai          

Women’s 10000m Final     10:20pm
Mercyline Chelangat        Stella Chesang 

DAY THREE - SUNDAY 
Men’s 1500 Heats        4:30am
Ronald Musagala         

Women’s 1500m Semifinals    5:05am
Winnie Nanyondo (TBC)

Men’s Marathon Final    4:15pm
Fred Musobo            Filex Chemonges
Jackson Kiprop 

Men’s 10000m Final   11pm
Joshua Cheptegei        
Jacob Kiplimo
Stephen Kissa 

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