World steeplechase champion Hyvin Kiyeng Jepkemoi of Kenya has pulled out of the 2017 Kampala World Cross Championships due March 26th.
The athlete blamed his exit on his recent outing at the Central Rift cross country championships last weekend where she finished second.
Jepkemoi – who won gold at the 2015 World Championships in Beijing, has now set eyes on rebuilding her body once again, to get fit for the IAAF Diamond League, which starts in May in Doha, Qatar.
“I have just started my training after a long holiday. The competition in Kenya is always stiff and even me doing well here in the buildup does not signify that I have keen to contest the national championships next week,” Kiyeng told Xinhua.
“I have always valued cross country because it helps me build up strongly. I will certainly not compete in the Kenyan trials, which means I will not be traveling to Kampala,” she added.
“I have a wild card for the World Championships. But it will be harder to defend the title because there are more people coming through the ranks in Kenya and abroad, who are eyeing to dethrone me. But I want to be at my best form to challenge them and hopefully retain my title.”
Apart from Kiyeng, Kenya will also miss the service of former world cross country champion Vivian Cheruiyot and Hellen Obiri, the Olympic 5,000m silver medalist.