Mercy Cherono is back after maternity break

By Gilbert Kimutai: Sunday, February 3rd 2019 at 00:00 GMT +3 | Athletics
2014 5000M commonwealth games gold medalist Mercy Cherono(in yellow) in action during the Bomet County Athletics Kenya Cross Country at Cereal grounds in Sotik. Cherono cut the self a ticket to the South Rift competition in Kericho where she says she hopes to return to her winning ways after staying out of competition for more than two years. Photo by Gilbert Kimutai/standard

2014 Commonwealth Games champion not keen to share more details on her absence.

Mercy Cherono, the 2014 Commonwealth Games 5,000m champion, announced her return as she dazzled her home fans at the Bomet County Athletics Kenya Cross Country Championships last weekend.

She will no doubt excite her fans thanks to her hairdo, with her sporting colours of the Kenyan flag that always cause a stir and admiration among men.

Her return rekindles moments of 2014 Commonwealth Games when the world’s male sporting enthusiasts cooed with envy inside Hampden Park Stadium in Glasgow as the beauty queen lined up in 5,000m final. Her beauty and style appeals to many in the global athletics scenes.

Cherono hopes to join the elite club of greats who posted impressive shows on return from maternity break. They include London Marathon winner Vivian Cheruiyot, women-only world marathon record holder Mary Keitany, two-time Berlin Marathon winner Florence Kiplagat and Ethiopia’s Olympic champion Tirunesh Dibaba.

Cherono said: “It was only a short break but I am back. I know people have been asking where I disappeared. I was on maternity break and I’m happy to be back.” She got married in 2016.

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She was not keen to share more details about her two-year break saying, “I just want to focus on training for the upcoming track season.”

Cherono made the team to South Rift Cross Country Championships set for Kericho Teachers Training College next Saturday. Others in the team are Africa cross country junior champion Mirriam Cherop, Norah Chebet, Gladys Cherono, Judy Cherotich and Lucy Liavoga.

Mercy Cherono from Kipajit athletics club takes part in the Sotik cross country. Cherono booked a place in a team to represent Bomet county during the south Rift cross country competition to be staged next month in Kericho town. Photo by Gilbert Kimutai/standard

She bagged two medals -silver (2009) and gold (2010) -at the World Cross Country Championships and hopes to make the team to the 43rd World Cross Country gala in Aarhus, Denmark, on March 30.

She has a rich trophy that include silver in 5,0000m at the World Championships in Moscow and is among few Kenyan athletes who won World Under-20 titles twice.

John Kimetto, the Athletics Kenya Bomet County chairman, said Cherono would regain her top form.

“Her ability to complete the race and make it to the team is a strong signal she is sending,” said Kimetto. “She is still a force to reckon with in the athletics circles in the country.”

Chepalungu sub-branch AK secretary Simion Chelule said they were looking forward to Cherono hitting the national stage.

“We have missed seeing her in action and with her return we are anxious to see her conquering the world,” said Chelule.

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