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Kenya’s Olympic silver medallist Mucheru to train in Finland

NAIROBI (Xinhua) -- Olympic 400m hurdles silver medallist Boniface Tumuti Mucheru of Kenya will pitch his training camp in Finland, aiming to polish his skills ahead of the World Championships in London in August.

The 24-year-old has redefined the boundaries of Kenyan athletes on global championships when he held out strongly to claim silver at the Rio Olympics.

But he now wants to improve that to gold in London and dismiss his critics who said his good show in Rio was a fluke.

“There will always be critics. I have done my part and showed the world my talent. I feel there is more from me and I want the best training with my coach in Finland then we will see how far I can go after that. The Diamond League is also another championship I’m keen to pursue,” Mucheru said Monday in Nairobi.

Mucheru intends to focus on perfecting his stride pattern in the build-up to the World Championships in London.

“Qualification for London is paramount and I am doing my best to keep off from any distraction and fully focus on my training and competitions,” Mucheru said.

“I usually lose my steps and pattern especially on the seventh hurdle and that has cost me a lot before. I must work on that and see how it will go in the Diamond League and London Worlds,” he said.

Mucheru will train in Finland in the lead-up to the event and has said he will also compete at the IAAF World Relays in Nassau if called upon.

“The World Relays will boost my speed and I hope I will be considered,” he said.

Until 2015, Mucheru was not known. He won in his heat at the Beijing World championships to qualify for the finals of the 400m hurdles but faded to seventh. He recorded a new personal best time of 48.79, which was a second better than his past best mark.

Last year, before leaving for the Shanghai Diamond league in China in May, Mucheru suffered hamstring injuries on both legs that affected his performance where he clocked 50.16 to finish last.

However, he returned stronger and put his focus on winning gold in Rio. He almost had his way but was edged out by American Kerron Clement, who won silver at the 2008 Beijing Olympics, triumphed in 47.73.

Mucheru feels he had done enough to have his name among the greats. It made him the first Kenyan to win an Olympic medal in 400m hurdles and that performance also saw him register a new personal best time of 47.78 seconds, which also enabled him to break the national record of 47.79 set by Nicholas Bett when winning the world title in Beijing in 2015.



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