Cheruiyot earns promotion ahead of World Championships

By Dennis Okeyo: Thursday, September 19th 2019 at 02:00 GMT +3 | Athletics
World silver medalist Timothy Cheruiyot being promoted to inspector of prisons by Commissioner General of Kenya Prisons Wycliffe Ogalo. [PHOTO: Dennis Okeyo}

No soul under the sun can match –with precision and class – the tip-top form world 1,500m silver medalist Timothy Cheruiyot enjoys in middle distance running this season.

He has won four IAAF Diamond League meetings – Eugene, Stockholm, Monaco and Rome – after losing Doha meet, the opening leg of the 14 series.

And that must have sparked Kenya Prisons Commissioner General Wycliffe Ogalo to promote Cheruiyot from Prisons Constable (PC) to Inspector of Prisons as he prepares for the 17th IAAF World Athletics Championships in Doha, Qatar, from next week.

Cheruiyot, the three-time IAAF Diamond League winner, was enlisted into the service in 2015 thanks to his athletic prowess.

And he saluted his boss, the Commissioner-General: "The promotion gives me more energy to gun for a gold medal in Doha. I thank my bosses."

“I have been in top of form in the last two years and the pressure is there to deliver world title is too high now that defending champion and my training partner Elijah Manangoi pulled out due an ankle. He started the season well but it’s unfortunate that he will miss Doha meet,” said Cheruiyot.

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“Ronald Kwemoi is a strong athlete alongside George Manangoi who has made impressive strides. Kumari Taki is also strong and anyone of us can win the race."

Bernard Ouma, who guides Cheruiyot and is one of the middle distance coaches in the world championships squad, said: “The withdrawal of Elijah shaken us a but it was necessary for him to withdraw to allow his ankle time to heal. Timothy is under pressure but you know no human can operate without pressure; it’s just a matter of managing. Doha meet will be a tough one, but going by performance of Diamond League series, we are confident of doing well.”

Taki, the 2016 world under-20 1500m champion, relishes a chance of representing the country at the world championships.

“The national trials was tough. I made a slight mistake that saw me finish fourth. I will rectify the mistake and expect to perform well at World Championships,” said Taki.

Ogalo said: “The success of athletics in Kenya has for long been guided by performance of athletes

“Because of Timothy’s discipline in the service and on the track, were he has formed exceptionally. I hereby promote Timothy to the Inspector of Prisons. He deserves the promotion and it will inspire other athletes to keep up high discipline and good shows while representing the country," said Ogalo.

Benjamin Njoga, who is Ogalo's principal deputy and Kenya Prisons athletics chairman, attended the function at Magereza House.

Meanwhile, the Kenya Prisons Service have produced some of the best athletes including New York City, Boston and London Marathons winner Margaret Okayo, 2009 Boston Marathon winner Salina Kosgei, 1996 Olympic 5000m silver Pauline Konga and Catherine Ndereba.

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