Conseslus Kipruto: What does the future hold for ex-steeplechase king after missing Olympics ticket?

Conseslus Kipruto: What does the future hold for ex-steeplechase king after missing Olympics ticket?

Joel Omotto 18:53 - 18.06.2024

Conseslus Kipruto will miss a second straight Olympics after his failure to qualify for the Paris Games but he still has time to revive his career following a series of misfortunes.

Conseslus Kipruto remains the last man to win a steeplechase gold medal for Kenya at both the Olympics and World Championships but will miss the Olympics for the second time in a row.

Kipruto had an awful performance at the Athletics Kenya trials when he faded into 10th place and missed the cut completely after posting 8:51.56.

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With the qualifying time being 8:15.00, Kipruto has not come anywhere close to those levels in recent years, and will have to watch the Olympics from home for the second successive edition.

It is a continuation of the poor spell for the two-time world champion who made his long-awaited comeback last month after an eight-month hiatus.

It was a nightmare return for Kipruto who finished 18th at the Rabat Diamond League after clocking 8:43.61.

The 2016 Olympic champion has not been the same since 2019, when he won his second world title, with injuries, poor form and personal issues conspiring to slow down his career.

He missed the 2020 Olympics, before managing bronze and the 2022 Worlds, but failed to qualify for last year’s global championships and heading to Paris, Kenya would have done with his experience and knowhow, but the job now rests on the shoulders of 21-year-olds Simon Koech and Amos Serem as well as Commonwealth champion Abraham Kibiwott.

Steeplechase was considered a Kenyan race since no other country had claimed an Olympics gold over the distance since 1968 until Kipruto’s heroics in Rio eight years ago but now, there is little hope as Moroccan Soufiane El Bakkali has taken over, winning it in Tokyo, as well as the last two World Championships.

Kipruto is, however, looking at the glass half-full in regards to his career with hopes of coming back strongly.

“Last month, I went to Morocco but I didn’t open the season the way I expected but I had a problem and I have now worked on it,” he said after the Olympics trials.

“I think I’m doing much better right now unlike last year. I am now doing okay and I have so much faith in myself. Last year, I wanted to go to the World Championships but I got a problem and had to withdraw but now, I’m doing well,” Kipruto said.

At 29, Kipruto is still in the prime of his career and he can use the time off to feature in a number of Diamond League races as he bids for a strong comeback in 2025.

Good preparations in 2024 will allow him to get in peak conditions for the 2025 season and with the World Championships in Tokyo, Japan, he has a chance to reclaim his lost glory.

What he cannot allow to happen is feel sorry for himself over the latest disappointment as that will only make a bad situation worse, given he will be turning 30 in December, while there are a number of young and hungry steeplechasers coming up.