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On the fast lane

TTell us a bit about yourself.

My name is Kiplagat Kigen and I am 16. I’m in grade eleven at Aga Khan Academy. I have a sister, Nandi Kiplagat.

Your love for motocross, how did it come about?

Our church is near the motocross field. So, after church, my father and I would come here just to watch and little by little, I gained interest and begun to ride. I’ve been at it since January 2008. I stopped for a while because I was not very consistent in my training, but got back on the saddle seriously towards the end of 2012. Now, I ride a 125cc one.

How do you balance school and your sport?

We have a sort of pact with my parents. I get to ride when I do well in school. I have to constantly improve my grades, they are very keen on that. With that arrangement, I have no option but to make sure my grades are at the top because that’s the only way I get to do something I greatly love, ride.

Your lowest moment?

On my birthday in 2014, I couldn’t race because of my age. It was mostly because my main competition took it up with the panel and I was disqualified. My age was used against me. I got over it though because soon after that I was on the tracks.

Highlight so far?

I scooped first prize last year at the Kenyan National Championship in my class. I was looking forward to it because the previous year, I didn’t compete. I also beat my competition. We are good friends now though (laughs).

Which racer do you look up to?

Eli Tomac. He rides in the United States.

Do you think you’ll continue with the sport as you get older?

No, not really. I mean, I will do it for fun. I want to be a farmer. Rear livestock, poultry and farm crop. The money is good and I can race while I farm. The free time will definitely be enough to race as well.

What would you tell youngsters interested in the sport?

Be consistent once you start. Do not give up even after you fall and get hurt. Getting a few bruises in inevitable in this sport.

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