With a personal best of 3:27.64 minutes, Silas Kiplagat is the fifth fastest athlete of all-time in the 1500m. He is a 2011 world silver medallist in 1500m. He is also a 2010 Commonwealth champion.
He was planning to transition to 5000m in 2017, but instead had to struggle with an injury. Silas talked with us about his injury as he watched others compete and his hope to represent Kenya at the Tokyo Olympic Games for a chance to win an Olympic medal.
Enda: Good to see you Silas, where have you been?
Silas: I have been undergoing treatment - so many times out of the country. I have been travelling between Iten and Italy for treatment but now I'’ much better. It is time to concentrate and do my best.
Enda: What was your injury?
Silas: I had a tendon injury, a tear on both my legs, so I am very lucky to come back again and run as an active athlete but it is very tough to go through such an injury.
Enda: How tough was it for you to stay out of athletics
Silas: It was tough because when I saw my colleagues competing, I felt like crying but I had to keep on motivating myself. My family members, my friends, my coach in Iten, my agent Gianni have all been very supportive; other athletes have been very supportive too.
Enda: What’s planned out for 2021 for you?
Silas: In 2021 it is just to concentrate as before, I don’t have any pressure because I don’t want to be in that temptation of some upcoming athletes who engage in bad behaviours (doping) and they mess their names.
Enda: Looking ahead to representing the country in 1500m or are you graduating?
Silas: It is something we have been discussing because you know my speed is not like some two years ago so maybe 5000 or 10,000 but the main focus now is 5000m to get back into training, get in good shape and do my best. I have been in 1500m for so long.
Enda: Why has it taken you too long to transition?
Silas: To recover. It was something that we had planned before, I was supposed to run 5000m in 2017 but unlucky I had an injury so I went out of the country for treatment in Italy for six months then I came back. You know when coming back from injury you don’t rush in case you get injured again. And then 2019 was my year of progressing well, unluckily I had a knee injury and went back to Italy for treatment. 2020 was a Corona year. So this year is the year of focusing.
Enda: How do you rate your body?
Silas: So far so good. There is no doubt Kiplagat of 2015, Kiplagat of 2010 and Kiplagat of 2021 are the same person because my body is still moving. I am still very young, very active, very energetic, so I just need to focus and see what is ahead.