Kenya’s Cheptai and Kiprotich speak on Commonwealth efforts – Sports Africa

Kenya’s Irine Cheptai and Sheila Kiprotich have revealed that they went into the race to win, this is after finishing second and third respectively behind Scot Eilish McColgan in the women’s 10,000m at the Commonwealth Games on Wednesday, August 3.

McColgan stretched to win the race, bagging first major title of her career with a Personal Best (PB) of 30:19.02.

Kenya’s Sheila Kiprotich at the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham. Photo/Kelly Ayodi

The 31-year-old accelerated to kick past Kenyan Irene Cheptai, bringing the fully-packed Alexander Stadium to a standstill.

The Kenyan duo said it was teamwork that made them make it to the podium in Birmingham.

“First I thank God for enabling me to finish the race today. I feel so good although we expected to win gold in this race but we are happy we have won silver and bronze medals,” Chepkirui.

On her part, Irine Cheptai said; ” I’m so grateful, the race was not easy but we teamed up with Sheila until we won silver and bronze medals. Our plan was to get into the medals bracket.”

After clinching the historic gold medal, McColgan ran towards her mother Liz, who also won gold for Scotland over the same distance at the 1986 and 1990 Commonwealth Games for memorable hugs.

“My family were here, the crowd on that last 100m, well it was vibrating through my own body,” said McColgan after she took victory in 30min 48.60sec. “Without the crowd, I wouldn’t have finished that. I wanted it so badly.”

“I know the girls were super strong. But I knew if I could stay with them I had a chance of a medal. This is an absolute dream.”

McColgan was out of action for seven weeks owing to Covid-19. She also suffered further illness and minor injuries prior last month’s world championships where she finished 10th.

“It has just been an up and down year with Covid, another illness, a couple of niggles at the wrong time,” she said. “But I knew the fitness was in me. I couldn’t have asked for more.”

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