But almost two years down the line, Kipyegon is drawing her own path as she seeks to win her major title in the discipline as a senior athlete.
She dominated the event, as a junior in 2013, and 2011, but faces a challenge to stamp her authority in the field as a senior next year, when the event will be held in Kampala, Uganda on March 26.
“I know it is not easy to make the team and that is why I am not taking anything for granted. I want to fight hard to make the Kenyan team for the world cross country championships in Kampala next March,” she said on Monday.
For an athlete whose specialty is in the shorter 1,500m distance, she might mind it harder in the endurance race but it is a challenge she is ready to take and believes she has enough strength in her legs to carry her through.
“I would like to try and qualify for the world cross. I know its 10km but I will try my best,” she said. To make the Kenyan team will be hardest of the challenges unlike winning at the championships finals in Kampala 2017.
“I know Ethiopia and Eritrea will always bring up formidable challenge, but it is harder to jump the Kenyan trials hurdle than competing in the finals. We have so many talented runners, over 60 and we are looking out to pick just four,” she said.
Indeed, the inspiration to be in the Kenyan team is not just based on her ambitions alone. There is also defending champion Agners Tirop, who is returning from a season-long injury and has shown her commitment to defend her title after missing out on the world championships in Beijing 2015 and the Rio Olympics in August.
Kipyegon, who is now 22, has her main focus on competing at the world championships, where she will race the 1500m but her coach Bram Som hasn’ t ruled out a 1500/5000m double at the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo if the timetable allows it. Enditem