After going for three World Championships without a medal, Ferguson Rotich could not hide his delight at grabbing a bronze in the 800m race at Khalifa International Stadium on Tuesday night.
Rotich clocked 1:43.82 to quench his thirst for a major championship medal, American Donovan Brazier and Amel Tuka of Bosnia.
The soft-spoken two-lapper said his next target will be the Olympics Games set for Tokyo, Japan next year.
The Diamond League specialist, who conceded to have been under pressure to deliver the elusive medal took inspiration from Olympic champion David Rudisha’s rumoured return, which he envisages will boost the medal capture in Tokyo.
Rudisha has been away from the track for years was in the stands here to drum support for the Kenyan team.
“I hope I will enjoy his company in Tokyo. His return will be of massive significance to the country as far as medal harvest in the race is concerned,” said Rotich. “I will now prepare for the Olympics with less pressure on my shoulders and with an ambition for the other two medals now that the jinx is broken.”
The towering athlete revealed that he had a slow start in the final after developing pains barely 200m into the race but pushed to the crossing line. He did not shy from his scheme of doubling his speciality with 1500m.
“At the start, I felt some pain in my leg but the response was good in the final 400m. I did not finish the way I intended to. Maybe in the Olympics, I will also try 1,500m but still maintain 800m.
Asked on how he managed to deal with the mounting pressure to deliver, Rotich, instead, expressed gratitude with Athletics Kenya for having faith in him and their patience.
“I have been making the team and not returning home with a medal. I want to give special thanks to AK, my coach and my family for they have been patient with me. I am happy I have finally repaid their faith with a medal.”