The only significant advantage of a dismal performance at world championships is that there is plenty of space to improve next time, and this will likely be the case for the Kenyan team heading to the 2024 Glasgow indoor championships happening from 1st to 3rd March.

Last time, in Belgrade, Kenya, just two medals were harvested. There was one silver medal from Noah Kibet in the men’s 800m event and a bronze medal from Abel Kipsang in the 1500m. The Kenyan women won none. In the previous championships 2018, Kenya won just one bronze medal through Bethwel Birgen in the men’s 3000m.

Bethwel Birgen, training on Kip Keino Track, June 2021, photo by Justin Lagat for Kenyan Athlete/RunBlogRun

Before anyone could explain that the number of medals that Kenya got in the last World Indoor Championships could be because there are no indoor track events in Kenya, it is worth noting that their neighbor, Ethiopia, whose athletes train in under similar circumstances, won the overall title in Belgrade with four gold medals and a total of nine medals.

All that Ethiopia needed to win the overall title at the last championships was to win the men’s and women’s 1500m and 3,000m individual gold medals.

However, this time, the contingent of Kenyan runners attending the Glasgow indoor championships looks poised to harvest more medals.

Ferdinand Omanyala, Noah Lyles, Marcell Jacobs, World Athletics Championships
Budapest, Hungary
August 19-27, 2023, photo by Kevin Morris

For the first time, Kenya has a sprinter among the top contenders in the men’s 60m. Ferdinand Omanyala, with 6.51, is currently in the top ten fastest runners in the event this year and is the fourth fastest entrant in Glasgow. He is also ranked as World number 3 behind Noah Lyles and Christian Coleman. Kenya also has a formidable 4X400m men’s relay team that has entered the championships.

In the distance events, if Noah Kibet improves by just one position from the last indoor championships, Kenya could win a gold medal in the men’s 800m race. Mariano Garcia, the defending champion; Bryce Hoppel, who was the bronze medalist last time; Catalin Tecuceanu, who has the fastest seasonal best time; and Tshepiso Masalela, who are some of the big contenders in this race. Collins Kipruto is the other Kenyan in the race.

Noah Kibet battles Isaiah Harris, The Millrose Games
at The Armory Track
New York, NY
2023-02-11, photo by Kevin Morris

Vincent Kibet Keter, who will be representing Kenya in the men’s 1500m race, has the fifth fastest seasonal best time of 3:34.44, which makes him one of the medal hopefuls.

While the Kenyan men did not field runners in the 3000m event, two women will be in the women’s event. World record-holder of the 3000m steeplechase, Beatrice Chepkech and Teresiah Muthoni, will be aiming to win a medal for Kenya here. With none of the indoor medals ever coming from the Kenyan women in the last two editions, this will finally be a good opportunity for them to break the jinx.

African 4x400m relay silver medalists Naomi Korir and Vivian Kiprotich will be the other two Kenyan women who will participate in the 800m event.

At the end of the championships, two silver medals will be Kenya’s best performance in the last three editions.

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