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AK: NO DOUBLING UP; Coaches seek to spread risks to 48 athletes

Last updated 5 years ago | By Chris Musumba

Vivian Cheruiyot on her way to win women's 10,000m during the National Trials Championship at Moi International Sports Centre Kasarani on July 31, 2015.PHOTO/DENNIS OKEYO

No athlete will compete in more than one competition, according to Team Kenya coaches.

The issue, according to the coaches is closed after they named the team to the World Championships in Beijing, China next month.

World 1,500m champion Asbel Kiprop and Olympic 5,000m silver medallist Vivian Cheruiyot had planned to double, but will stick to their disciplines in Beijing.

Head coach Julius Kirwa said they do not want to burden one athlete to carry the teams hope in Beijing and will distribute the risks to all the 48 athletes named for the trip to the World Championships.

Cheruiyot, 33, will focus on the 10,000m race as she continues her rehabilitation on return from maternity.

“I will only race in 10,000m,” said Cheruiyot, Saturday in Nairobi. “I’m not in the same fitness level I was back in 2011 where I contested for the double in Daegu and won both 10,000m and 5,000m races,” she said.

The diminutive athlete, however, confirmed that the Rio Olympics in 2016 will be her last show on the track and she wants to shift gears to marathon.

“I still want that Olympic Gold medal and Rio will be my last stop,” she said. “I ran in Athens, Beijing and London and it will be a big statement for me to compete in my fourth Olympics and go on to win.”

Cheruiyot, however, has put her opponents on notice that she will be going to Beijing to reclaim what she believes is hers, the gold medal in 10,000m race.

“I do not care who we will be running against in Beijing. The most important thing is for me to do my part and win gold. I know Tirunesh Dibaba, might not be there, but it will not be about her. This is the World Championships and I will deliver the gold medal,” she said.

Cheruiyot will team up with USA based Betsy Saina and Olympic silver medallist Sally Kipyego in the 10,000m race and hopes it will be a sweep for Kenya.

World 5,000m silver medallist Mercy Cherono also dismissed rumours about her doubling up when she opted to compete at the 1,500m distance instead of the 12-lap race.

“I only decided to compete here because I was keen to test my speed and I have got no worries about my fitness and targets in Beijing. Running the 5,000m distance will be my priority and only job in Beijing and hopefully, I will present formidable challenge to Genzebe Dibaba of Ethiopia,” said Cherono.

The two competed against each other in their junior days, but it is the Ethiopian whose graduation and continual development that has caught the world’s imagination, breaking the women’s 1,500m record and will be doubling up in Beijing competing also in the 5,000m.

“I used to fight with her a lot as juniors, but I have no regrets about my development. She is in top form because she started her training early enough while I am still picking up the pace. However, I will be ready for Beijing and so it will be interesting to see who will win,” said Cherono.

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