David Saruni, Kenya’s teenage prodigy, aims to win the country’s first gold in 400m hurdle at the Olympics.
The USA based rookie, made a false start in his first time representing Kenya at the World Under-17 Championships in Nairobi in 2017 when he was disqualified for lane infringement offense.
But he returned to his training base in Kentucky (USA) and immersed in training, and not even the lockdown imposed by countries to curb COVID-19 spread has slowed him down.
Saruni has been primed as heir apparent to the late former world 400m hurdles champion, Nicholas Bett, and the 19-year-old computer science student said he is ready to pick up the gauntlet.
“It is my dream to represent Kenya at the Tokyo Olympics.
“The plan is to make it to Tokyo this year in August, but the health situation has forced a lockdown.
“However, 2021 is still a good year and I want to be in top form so that I may dominate the hurdles and be able to live the dream of my mentor Bett,’’ said Saruni on Tuesday.
With college athletics in the USA closed, Saruni, like many other sportsmen, is forced to train on his own and he loves the challenge, though it is not optimum.
“Currently, I am able to do some short runs, a lot of gym exercises and related stuff to keep me in good form.
“We will overcome this pandemic and return to competition.
“My focus is to keep improving,’’ added Saruni.
The Kenyan prodigy also has the capacity to oscillate through to 800m and 1,500m races.
However, he sees his ideal race being in the hurdles.
Saruni is one of the top talents Kenya expects to parade in Nanjing, China during the rescheduled World Indoor Championships in 2021.
The competition is to be held in March at the newly-built Nanjing Cube.
The teenage athletes missed out on the chance to make the Kenya team to the 2017 World Championships after he was dropped in a controversial way from the 800m team to London with coaches opting to pick Africa silver medallist, Emmanuel Korir, Ferguson Rotich, and David Rudisha, the Olympic champion.
His coach then, Paul Ereng, a former world 800m champion, said Saruni was to inherit Rudisha.
“There is a new sheriff in town.
“This boy is on fire; Saruni destroyed the 600m indoor world record in Albuquerque, New Mexico,’’ said Ereng.
Leicester boss aims for top four
After another loss in this horrid run of form for Leicester City, Brendan Rodgers was asked if he thinks the Foxes will qualify for the Champions League.
After the Toffees defeat, Leicester boss Brendan Rodgers was asked if the East Midlanders will qualify for the Champions League. And it was encouraging to hear the manager take a combative approach:
“I’ve always said we’ll push to finish as high as we possibly can. If we finish outside it, then we haven’t been good enough. It’s as simple as that. You have to sustain it over 38 games. We’ve go six games to go and we have to fight to finish as high as we can.”
Dyche’s achievements at Burnley exemplary for promoted clubs, says Wilder
Dyche has twice led Burnley to Premier League promotion and guided them to the Europa League qualification in 2018, marking the club’s return to European football for the first time in 51 years.
Wilder said United, who has emerged as a surprise package on their top-flight return this season, have been using Burnley as the blueprint for what they could achieve at Bramall Lane.
“Burnley are the most talked about a football club in our football club.
“They have built the club, consistency, honest performances, (and) a brilliant manager.
“(Sean Dyche) gives the maximum for his team, takes defeats on the chin, and comes flying back.
“And a great example for my football club and my players on how to do it,” Wilder told reporters in a virtual news conference ahead of Sunday’s league clash at Turf Moor.
Dyche’s future at Burnley has come under speculation in recent weeks amid reports of a disagreement with the club’s hierarchy.
“Absolute nonsense, complete nonsense in terms of anyone questioning what that man does for that football club.
“Have Burnley gone as far as they can with Sean Dyche or is it the other way around?
” I think it’s the other way around and if I was him, I would be looking at it like that,” Wilder said of the reports.
Wilder’s United are seventh in the league after beating Tottenham Hotspur 3-1 on Thursday for their first victory since the restart last month.
The Blades will be without injured duo John Fleck and John Lundstram against tenth-placed Burnley, while center back Jack O’Connell remains a doubt.
Zidane reacts to news Lionel Messi could leave Barcelona
Real Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane has responded to growing transfer rumours that Barcelona legend, Lionel Messi, could leave the club after this season.
Messi has been at Barcelona since he was 12 and has won every laurel in club football while at the club side, but disagreements with head coach Quique Setien and recent disappointment in the champions league has made the striker question his loyalty to the club according to reports.
Rivals, Real Madrid beat Getafe on Thursday night to climb four points ahead of Barcelona with five matches remaining in La Liga. And with the Champions League filled with strong opponents, Barcelona could end the season without any major trophy.
Asked on his thoughts if he will like Messi to leave or stay amid the rumours, Zidane said;
“I don’t know what will happen but we hope not because he is in this league and we want the best in this league,” Zidane said post-match.
Sergio Ramos was the hero for Madrid against Getafe, scoring the only goal from the penalty spot in the 79th minute at the Alfredo di Stefano Stadium.
Zidane hailed captain Ramos, who took his La Liga tally to nine goals in 2019-20 following his 450th league appearance for Madrid.
“Our captain is our leader on the field, but also outside,” Zidane said of the Spain skipper, who took his career total to 100 goals.
“He is an unrepeatable player. He is unique and we know what he transmits to everyone else. I’m happy for him for his goal because when it comes to shooting a penalty, he has a lot of confidence.
“It’s almost in the 80th minute and Dani Carvajal’s effort in goal is from the whole team. We know that with patience and tranquility we can score goals. This is what happened.
“The last 20 minutes with freshness we claimed a very important result. We have to congratulate all the players because what we are doing is not easy.”
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