TOUGH RIDE

Jeruto laments over what lies ahead for athletes

She said as athletes they are staring at poverty hence 2020 will go down as the worst year in their career

In Summary

•She graduated recently from the 800m to 5,000m but reckons that it has not been easy. 

•She said she decided to compete in 5,000m following her good run in 2019 World Cross Country Championships in Aarhus, Denmark, finishing in the 13th position.

Lydia Jeruto leads the pack in a recent race
Lydia Jeruto leads the pack in a recent race
Image: EMMANUEL SABUNI

World Under-18 800m silver medalist Lydia Jeruto is counting loses following the spread of coronavirus pandemic in the country.

She said as athletes they are staring at poverty hence 2020 will go down as the worst year in their career. “As you are aware,  everything has been cancelled and there seem to be no light at the end of the tunnel,” she said.

She said she was hoping to start her season on a high during the Doha Diamond League but the event was among the opening four legs that were cancelled.

Jeruto said she had prepared well for the event but woke up one day to the sad news of the coronavirus. Jeruto was scheduled to feature in the 1500m in Doha since her current 5,000m speciality had been removed from the Diamond League Series.

She graduated recently from the 800m to 5,000m but reckons that it has not been easy. She said she decided to compete in 5,000m following her good run in 2019 World Cross Country Championships in Aarhus, Denmark, finishing in the 13th position.

“After running well in the 6km and completing in such position, I decided to take the challenge a notch higher. That is why I made my mind to conquer in the 5,000m. If I can complete 6km, what will stop me from winning 5,000m,” asked Jeruto.

“In Doha, I wanted to run in 1,500m as part of my speed work ahead of the Olympic Games but the opportunity went up in smoke,” she added.

She said her preparation in training has been immense and she is looking forward to a better transition to 5,000m. “I know it is not going to be easy considering the competition in the 12 and half-lap race but as they say, no pain, no gain,” she quipped. “Transiting into 5,000m was a personal choice and I want to make an immediate impact just as I have done in previous races,” she said.

The reigning Discovery cross country champion said the coronavirus has made life expensive for athletes as sports is their only source of livelihood. She said it has been a really bad year considering that the Africa cross country, which she was part of, was also cancelled.