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Bring them on!

ATHLETICS By Jonathan Komen | April 25th 2017 | 2 min read
2016 Rio Olympics - Athletics - Final - Women's 5000m Final - Olympic Stadium - Rio de Janeiro, Brazil - 19/08/2016. Vivian Cheruiyot (KEN) of Kenya celebrates. REUTERS/Dominic Ebenbichler 

Olympic 5,000m champion Vivian Cheruiyot and world half marathon silver medallist Bedan Karoki made splendid 42km debuts on Sunday.

From the starting point of the race around Blackheath, south of River Thames, the race wound past various iconic and landmarks like the Big Ben, London Eye, the Tower Bridge, Canary Whaff, the Buckingham Palace, before finishing at The Mall.

Through the paces, athletics fans were curious about the duo. The pint-sized Cheruiyot, who had competed in track for the past 20 years, proved she was no push-over. She finished fourth in 2:23.50.

Cheruiyot won three senior world titles on track, four Olympic medals and two world cross country titles. She narrowly lost the 2011 IAAF World Female Athlete of the Year award to Australian hurdler Sally Pearson, but and was later named the winner of the prestigious Laureus Award.

Analysts had predicted that her long stay in the track would help her pick up in marathon easily –just like Olympic marathon champion Eliud Kipchoge, who took 18 years in track before turning to the road races.

"Making debut in London Marathon is really good. It gives an athlete the required experience. It's a high pressure race," said Kipchoge, who gears up to run under two hours at the Formula One circuit in Moza, Italy early next month.

Karoki made a successful debut, finishing third in 2:07.41. This comes after winning silver in the World Half Marathon Championships in Cardiff, last year. He had competed in three major championships and in all attempts, fell just outside the medal bracket.

Competing in the 10,000m, Karoki finished fifth in London 2012 Olympics, was sixth in Moscow 2013, and fourth in Beijing Worlds.

The 26 year-old, was born in Nyandarua, but moved to Japan, where he is currently based.

Karoki won last year's World's Best 10K in Puerto Rico, has a silver medal from the world cross country championships in Guiyang, China, won gold in the 2015 Copenhagen Half Marathon and also won the All-Africa Games 10,000m silver medal.

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