•Cheruiyot, who started her running career in 1998, stated that she wanted to win the 2020 London Marathon title but that did not happen despite enjoying top form during that period.
•“At the moment, I haven't planned for any race because I have just started training. Cutting weight is my priority right now but I hope to be ready for competition next year,” said Cheruiyot.
Former Olympic Games 5,000m gold medalist Vivian Cheruiyot is optimistic she will perform well next year upon her return from maternity leave.
The double world 5,000m champion said she is working hard on cutting her weight after maternity leave and she is ready to swing back into action next year. "Before hanging my spikes, I want to run better than before," she noted.
The double world 10,000m champion won her first Olympic gold at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil before switching to the marathon. She made her debut in the marathon in London in 2017.
“At the moment, I haven't planned for any race because I have just started training. Cutting weight is my priority right now but I hope to be ready for competition next year,” said Cheruiyot.
Cheruiyot, who started her running career in 1998, stated that she wanted to win the 2020 London Marathon title but that did not happen despite enjoying top form during that period.
“My last race was the 2020 London Marathon, where I failed to finish because it was during the coronavirus pandemic period. It was almost canceled but they decided to host it. I was in good shape, very fit and everything went on well but it was really cold and too much rain. That took a toll on me forcing me to drop out,” said the 2018 London Marathon champion
As age continues catching up with the Pocket Rocket, she explains that transiting to marathon from track and field and cross country after 18 years was not easy but it was the best time for her to move.
“My next move is to train, cut off my weight and come back for a few years and I will be done. Marathon and track and field are totally different. In track and field, the training is a little bit friendly because you cannot go for long runs like 40km per day or once a week but training for a marathon needs dedication, and a lot of exhaustion among others,” she said.
Cheruiyot regrets that her exit from the track had left the country weaker in the 5,000m and 10,000m.
"When I quit track in 2016, I left strong athletes like Hellen Obiri and the late Agnes (Tirop) among others. Today, the 5,000m and 10,000m is a pale shadow of what they used to be," she said.
"I don’t know where we are heading but I believe the upcoming athletes will soon fill the void with good guidance. It will, however, not be easy to get athletes of our generation including Obiri (now in the marathon), me, and the late Tirop.
"We used to be very strong, especially at world events and any time we lined up, Kenyans were assured of medals,” she said. She said one can no longer bank on the Kenyan women in the two events.
" Our opponents including Ethiopia and other countries are having a field day," she added. She urged Kenyan athletes to train hard if they are to win medals.
"Athletics has become competitive and we can't afford to sit on the laurels and expect things to happen,' she cautioned.