Johana Erot wants to keep the 3,000m steeplechase legacy as he prepares to compete for Kenya at the 2022 World under 20 championships in Cali, Colombia.
The 17-year old runner who benefited from the Athletics Kenya under 20 training camps, based at the Kamoi secondary school in Elgeyo Marakwet County said he was disappointed when Kenya lost the 3,000m steeplechase title at the 2021 Olympic Games in Tokyo, Japan.
He said that after missing to run for Kenya in last year’s world under 20 championships at the Kasarani stadium, the Turkana county born runner said that Kenyan athletes have been dominating the race but it was disappointing to lose the race to Moroccan Soufiane El Bakkali (8:08.90) followed by Ethiopian Lamecha Girma (8:10.38) with Kenyan Benjamin Kigen winning bronze in 8:11.45.
“We want to try to reclaim the 3,000m steeplechase glory after losing at the Olympics last year. We retained the under 20 title (won by Amos Serem), we want this year to retain and see if we can win the glorious days in the race for the country but it is our race,” said Erot.
Last year, he competed at the national trials but he did not make the team terming the loss due to some issues of training and it was his first time to run in any race.
“I used to run 10,000m but I was advised by my coach Boniface Tiren to try steeplechase and am doing well in it. Now I am ripe for the challenges ahead,” he said.
Last year he says that he only had three months of training unlike now that he has good time adding that he has great training time at the Kamoi camp and even handing them training programmes even while at home.
He said that looks at multiple world 3,000m steeplechase champion Ezekiel Kemboi, former Olympic 3,000m champion Brimin Kipruto among others.
“Am motivated to compete in steeplechase which is good after seeing Kemboi, Kipruto and others doing great things at work. They put our country on the world map and I want to do the same for this country,” he said.
At the camp, he said that the training was good and doing everything possible to win and retain the world under 20 title.
“Here we have everything, starting from hurdles, we have enough hills for hill-work, flat course, track and field, all are here. We have everything that we need to run a steeplechase. We also have good weather unlike the area I used to train before in the lowland in Birbiriet in Trans Nzoia county,” said the Form Three student at Biribriet secondary school.
He added that he wants to do his best both in school and sports
“My focus is to ensure that I make the team for Colombia after enjoying my personal best of 9:10 set during national under 20 trials. I also competed at the North Rift regional championships at Tambach where I finished 4th but am ready for the challenges,” he added