Battle to succeed Cheruiyot begins

Tuesday, June 15th, 2021 00:00 | By
Vivian Cheruiyot after winning 5,000m gold in Rio Olympics in 2016. Photo/PD/FILE

The women’s 5,000m final is one of the eagerly awaited races during the national Olympics trials planned for June 17-19 at Kasarani stadium.

Athletics Kenya has invited a stellar field of 18 for the trials where a team of three will be picked to represent Kenya in Tokyo.

AK has made it known that the first two athletes to cross the finish line will automatically make the team while the third and final member will be decided by the panel of selectors.

Kenya will be seeking to defend her title in the women’s 5,000m won by Vivian Cheruiyot in Rio in 2016.

While Cheruiyot has since moved to road races and is in the marathon team for the Tokyo Games, national athletics head coach Julius Kirwa says the country has enough ammunition.

Olympics silver medallist Helen Obiri who is also a double world champion over the distance will be the one to beat on paper.

However, she should expect a stiff challenge from world Under-20 5,000m champion Beatrice Chebet, the athlete coming to the trials in good form.

Chebet started the season brilliantly by winning the women’s 3,000m race at the Doha Diamond League on May 28 in a world leading 8:27.49 in a race she even defeated Obiri.

Besides Obiri and Chebet, world silver medallist Margaret Chelimo will be another athlete to watch in the final set for Thursday.

Others are Eva Cherono, Lilian Kasait, Gloria Kite, Janet Kisa, Pauline Kamulu and Mercy Cherono. 

National cross country champion Sheila Chelang’at will also be in the mix, as will world 10,000m bronze medallist Agnes Tirop.

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