Vivian back from maternity

Tuesday, October 18th, 2022 09:40 | By
Former Olympic gold medallist Vivian Cheruiyot stretches at her home in Illula, Eldoret after a light morning run yesterday. PD/ EMMANUEL MASINDE

Olympic 5000 meters gold medalist Vivian Cheruiyot has resumed light training after coming from maternity leave that saw her miss the Tokyo 2020 Olympics last year and this year’s World Athletics Championships in Oregon, US.

The track legend recently celebrated the first birthday of her second child, before hitting the track to shade some weight as she plans resume full training by January with an eye on the London Marathon race in April.

“She is called Arielle Jebiwott Kiplagat, I picked the name from the bible, which means Lion of God. She just turned one year recently,” said the excited athlete when PD Sport paid her a visit at her Illula village home, about 10 kilomertes from Eldoret town.

A notch higher

Cheruiyot is a marathon superlative for over five years and has averred that she believes she will be a notch higher once she partakes in personal training with the advice of her manager.

“In any sport, you must train hard to get the desired results and this is what I shall do. You should expect a much improved Cheruiyot moving forward,” she said with a reassuring tone.

Nicknamed Pocket Rocket, Cheruiyot made her debut at the 2017 London marathon where she was placed fourth after returning 2.23.50 in a race won by former world record holder Mary Keittany who incidentally is her neighbor at the athletics hotbed of Iten.

Her last competitive action was in 2019 at the Valencia Marathon where she was placed fourth overall.

Despite failing to make a podium finish, Cheruiyot was hailed for her performance and especially given that she had just recuperated from a hip injury which resulted into skipping the Berlin Marathon.

“At the moment I am a proud mother taking care of my latest child (Jebiwott) as well as my first born (Allan Kiprono). I will seize the opportunity to cut down my weight to be in tip-top shape for big-time marathons. So far I have started with light morning runs,” said Cheruiyot.

She added: “I know I don’t have the required weight to challenge the very best in a marathon but once I do it, believe me I will be capable of stretching my obduracy in marathon.”

Cheruiyo says that after receiving her bundles of joy all she wants is to give them the best care possible while focusing on how she will take her marathon career to the next level before she finally calls it quits.

“I want to be in action soon so that I can be able to move around with my daughter. It’s my desire for the little one to see me running before I hang up my spikes. You may form a conjecture as to when that will happen but I can only tell you that I personally don’t know,” she said.

No pressure

The hypothesis is well documented by Cheruiyot’s assertion that records are there to be broken and that she would not be an exception to do the same.

“Records are there to be broken and I’m overly excited that Kenyan athletes who are younger than me are doing it. Personally, I have no pressure since I have been doing it over and over again.

She expresses love for London which she described as her second home and where her manager resides.

“I must say I love London and would like to compete in as many races as possible in this wonderful city. Having said that, It would also be in my interest to feature in Berlin, Chicago and Boston editions,” she said.

For now, Cheruiyot said she is also aiming to reduce her personal best of 2.18 to 2.16 despite the fact that age is catching up with her.

“This is my ultimate target although I must acknowledge the fact that there are upcoming greenhorns who can surpass the target,” said Cheruiyot who secured Kenya a bronze medal in 3000m at the inaugural 1999 IAAF World Youth Championships in Poland at only 15 years of age.

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