By GILBERT WANDERA
Surprise can beat the strongest and World 10,000 and 5,000 metres champion Vivian Cheruiyot will not be counting her chicks yet on her mission to double up in London Olympic Games, at least not for now.
Cheruiyot, fired the first salvo when she confirmed at Rome Diamond League her intention to double up in the two longest track competition in London.
But as reality creeps in ahead of today’s 10,000m trials, jittery Cheruiyot, like her opponents, remains reluctant to bet on who will emerge triumphant in the race.
Nobody is expecting a walk in the pack in the 25-lap race. Not even past records, accolades or stature on the international front, can warrant anyone a ticket to London.
Cheruiyot was guarded in her response on todays final not wanting to give too much away ahead of what is expected to be a tough race. One thing she is sure about is whoever will be picked to represent the country will be the best available.
“We have a strong field and whoever makes it in the team we can be sure will do the country proud come the Olympics in London,” she said.
So when Cheruiyot, World Silver medallist Sally Kipyego, Berlin 2009 World Champion Linet Masai, Berlin marathon winner Florence Kiplagat, former World cross country champion Emily Chebet, veteran Lineth Chepkurui and Lucy Kabuu, the Dubai marathon champion, line up for the gun, nothing will be assured to anyone.
Throw in Pauline Korikwiang, Grace Momanyi, Africa cross country winner Joyce Chepkirui, Doris Changeiwo, the World Military Games champion, veteran Priscah Jepleting, Japan based Sally Kaptich Chepyego and Betsy Saina and it becomes toxic.
Kiplagat, having been overlooked in the selection of the marathon team, proved her mantle in Eugene, USA where she posted the second fastest time this season in 10,000m of 30:24.85 finishing behind Olympic champion Tirunesh Dibaba (30:24.39) of Ethiopia.
“I am keen to run at the Olympics. It does not come every time. So when I was overlooked in the marathon, I opted for the 10,000m race and I will do my best irrespective of who is in the race,” said Kiplagat.
Masai, who is not the best friends with Cheruiyot considering that she took her title in Daegu, has left it to fate. “There has never been a time where making the Kenya team was simple. I enter the race tomorrow (today) not expecting anything easy.” said Masai.