Eyes on Nanjing as Chepkoech launches World Indoor campaign in Germany

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NAIROBI, Jan. 8 (Xinhua) -- World 3000m steeplechase record-holder Beatrice Chepkoech will launch her campaign in the World Athletics Indoor Tour in Karlsruhe, Germany on Jan. 31.

Chepkoech, who has confirmed her bid to wrest the World Indoor Championships in Nanjing, has returned to training after her win in Doha, Qatar in October 2019 during the outdoor World Championships.

Karlsruhe will mark the second stop in the seven-leg World Indoor Tour, with Boston (USA) setting the first stage in the circuit on Jan. 25.

Germany will also host the third stop in Dusseldorf on Feb 4, however, Chepkoech, who become the world outdoor steeplechase record holder in 2018 before securing the world championship title, will not be competing there.

"I have returned to training and hopefully will be ready for action in Germany," she said.

Chepkoech, 28, will go a gear down and will focus her energy to running the shorter 1,500 meters indoor races, which she hopes will help her build up speed and endurance heading into Tokyo Olympic Games.

"I only become the world champion last year and it is my hope that I will go on to win in Tokyo and maybe in Nanjing, China," she said.

Having skipped the cross country, Chepkoech will be keen to boost her speed in the shorter and sharp indoor circuit.

"I will start with the 1,500m in the Indoor circuit. It is about me gaining speed but I will return to the 3,000m in the Diamond League and outdoor circuit later in the season. It will boost my endurance for the steeplechase," Chepkoech said.

In Germany, Chepkoech will face a strong field for the 1500m at the Indoor Meeting Karlsruhe.

Former world indoor silver medalist Axumawit Embaye and compatriot Winnie Chebet, who was seventh at the World Championships this year, have also been announced.

Chepkoech, who won the world title last year, finished third in the 1500m in Karlsruhe in 2018.

However, she has been skeptic on running sparingly in 2020 to preserve her energies for the World Indoor Championships and the Tokyo Olympic Games.

"I will run few races in the Diamond League, to save my energy," she said in Eldoret.

After Boston, Karlsruhe and Dusseldorf, the World Tour will head to Torun (Poland) on Feb 8, Glasgow (Scotland) on Feb 15, before taking in the newest addition to the circuit, Lievin (France) on Feb 19.

The final meeting on the World Athletics Indoor Tour will be held in Madrid (Spain) on Feb 21 to pave way for the World Indoor Championships in Nanjing, China on March 13-15. Endtiem

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