Rogers Kibet’s progress always motivates his coach Addy Ruiter. The teenage long-distance runner is looking to make a strong start in the seniors’ ranks this year after beginning well.
Kibet began 2023 by posting a time of 27 minutes and seven seconds in sixth place at the Valencia Ibercaja 10K in Spain at the weekend.
By dipping under 27:10 on Sunday, the time ensured that Kibet, 19, qualified for the World Athletics Championships set to be held in Budapest, Hungary in August.
“We organized this race for him because we knew that he was capable of running this time. I am very happy for him,” said Kibet’s coach Ruiter.
Kibet looks to be in form. Back in November, he won the famous Seven Hills Runs 15K in Nijmegen, Netherlands to add to his respectable third place finish at the Cardiff Cross Challenge in Wales back in October.
The teenager had also twice finished fifth in the 3000m and 5000m finals at the World U20 Championships in Cali, Colombia five months ago.
By qualifying for Budapest, Kibet stands a chance to be among four Ugandan men who will run the 10000m final at the National Athletics Centre. That’s considering that Joshua Cheptegei is the reigning champion and has a wild card entry.
“So there is a big chance that he will make his debut at the World Championships on senior level in his first year as a senior,” Ruiter stated.
Kibet however is pleased that he can now prepare for next month’s World Cross-country Championships set for Bathurst, Australia with confidence.
“He is a talented athlete and there is still a lot of room for improvement,” the Dutch tactician added.
Similarly in the women’s race, Sarah Chelangat beat the Budapest qualifying mark of 30:40 by 16 seconds with 30:24 in fourth place.
Then 2018 Commonwealth 10000m champion Stella Chesang, who won the National Cross-country Championships in Tororo early last month, was ninth in that race with 31:33.