After bagging a silver in the 10,000m last Friday, Vivian Cheruiyot returns to the track today as her search for the elusive Olympics gold medal continues.
Vivian will be leading compatriots Mercy Cherono and Hellen Obiri in the 5,000m heats at 9:30am (3:30pm Kenya time) as they strive to make a mark before the finals on Friday.
Unfortunately Ethiopian Almaz Ayana, who denied Vivian the gold last Friday, will also be lining up in this race. The bad news for Kenyan fans is that Ayana specialises in the shorter distance.
After the 10,000m battle on Friday, Vivian agreed that she had faced an opponent who was a hard nut to crack, but she had not lost hope as she always fights to the last moment.
“I know we will still face Ayana in the 5,000m and I agree that she is in a class of her own as nobody can stand up to her in her current form. But we will not give her the gold on a silver platter. I will fight with all the energy I have and hopefully win an Olympics gold,” Vivian told Feverpitch after a training session on Sunday.
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But first, she must contend with the small matter of making it to the finals.
The world champion may be tired after the gruelling 10,000m battle but she must summon the energy for today’s heat.
Apart from Vivian, Cherono also has a mission against Ayana and Co. as the Ethiopians have stopped her previous quests for glory. Cherono, who finished third at the national trials to book a slot for the Rio Olympics, says she will only talk about what she thinks of the Ethiopian rivals in Rio once she has raced against them.
Obiri on the other hand will be hoping that after stepping up from the 1,500m, the finishing kick of the shorter race will help her battle against the Ethiopians.
Obiri finished second behind Vivian at the Olympics trials in Eldoret in July and will be striving to work with her compatriots to break Ethiopia’s dominance at the Olympics.