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We shall rise up from Tokyo Olympics setback, says Cheruiyot

By Amos Abuga
Friday, April 3rd, 2020
Dominant Timothy Cheruiyot runs his way to 1500m gold at the World Athletics Championships. in Doha. Photo/PD/FILE

World 1500m champion Timothy Cheruiyot says suggestions that 2020 was the year to give a shot at lowering the record  will have to be brushed aside. 

Cheruiyot who has a personal best of 3:28.41set in Monaco in 2018  says it was no secret he contemplated  shattering Moroccan Hicham El Guerrouj’s record of  3:26.00 which has been hugely unchallenged for over two decades now.

However, with the coronavirus pandemic continuing to affect almost all sporting activities, Cheruiyot says the priority now is staying safe as opposed to chasing records.

An Olympic gold was something the Diamond League trophy winner wthought of when the year started. That too, he says, can wait for now, after the Games were postponed to July 2021.

“When in good health you get a chance to try, but that can’t be true if you’re unwell. I believe we shall rise up from this setback,” said Cheruiyot who last October won the world title in Doha, Qatar.

He says that moment was priceless for him since he had played second fiddle to his training partner Elijah Manangoi, who was ruled out of the championships due to a hamstring injury.

“I am happy Manangoi is back to running again because we push each other alot in training. He is a top athlete;  that is is why I think when we get back to serious competition, we can achieve alot,” Cheruiyot told People Sport yesterday.

The Commonwealth silver medallist says with Diamond League races being postponed due to the coronavirus opportunities to try and post better times have been limited.

“People break records when they run regularly and competitively at the highest level. So clearly from where we stand that is not going to be the case this year,” he added.

Also not able to train from the Rongai Athletics Club under coach Benard Ouma is yet another obstacle for the world champion.

“The government is strongly discouraging gatherings therefore even we athletes cannot train together.

For now I have to do long runs alone just to keep in shape,” concluded the Inspector of Prisons.

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