Kenya has a realistic chance of ending the Olympic drought in the long distance, says four-time World Champion, Vivian Cheruiyot.
Ethiopia have beaten Kenya to Olympics long distance glory in three consecutive editions starting in Athens 2004, Beijing 2008, and London 2012. Ahead of the fourth outing in Rio, Brazil this August, the ‘pocket rocket’ feels team Kenya can put behind the heartbreaks and rise up to the occasion.
Her remarks came on Thursday morning after she comfortably clinched the women’s 10,000m Rio 2016 Olympics ticket in style, triumphing a star-studded field in a time of 31:36.37 in Eldoret where the Kenyan trials got underway.
United States-based Betsy Saina followed her home in 32:04.83 with Gladys Chesire rounding the podium in third in 32:17.13.
Kipyego misses out
London 2012 Olympics silver medallist Sally Kipyego was the biggest casualty after she finished sixth finish in 32:37.11 to miss out. The race also saw in-form Alice Aprot, winner of the African Athletics championship title in Durban South Africa last week, get a deserved wild card from Athletics Kenya (AK) which narrowed the odds at the start with only two tickets at stake for the summer games.
“It’s about time we stood up and be counted,” said the Daegu 2011 Worlds double gold medallist who also won the 10,000m title last year in Beijing but is yet to win an Olympic gold.
“The country is watching and backing us to bring gold in the long distance, something we have failed to deliver in three successful outings. We cannot be intimidated by the Ethiopians all the time. This has to stop,” she added.
Cheruiyot will turn her attention to Friday’s 5000m race although the decision has not been made yet whether she will run both in Brazil.
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