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Athletics: Youngster savours chance to shine in her seniors debut

Last updated 2 years ago | By DENNIS OKEYO

Eva Cherono leads Beatrice Mutai during their trains session at at Kasarani Stadium on March 25, 2018.[Dennis Okeyo, Standard]

Eva joins big shots in search for glory in Commonwealth games.

Youngster Eva Cherono hopes to deliver good performance in her senior outing when Commonwealth Games begin next week in Gold Coast, Australia.

Having defeated experienced athletes to finish second in women’s 5,000m at the national trials, which guaranteed her a spot in Team Kenya, Cherono is ready to dine with the queens.

Born in 1996 in Kericho County, Cherono will be making her senior debut at the international front after she represented the country, twice, at the junior ranks.

She won a silver medal in 1,500m and finished fifth in 800m during the 2013 Africa Youth Championships held in Warri, Nigeria.

“Before the national trials, I had prepared quite well under my coach Japheth Kemei in Kiptere.

“But performance on the day of the actual competition really surprised me.  I didn’t expect to finish in the second place,” said Cherono, who has an impressive time of 15:54.6 in the 5,000m race.

“That performance motivated me to go for better results in Gold Coast,” she added.

Cherono, who began running while a student at Musaria Secondary School, has the 2017 World champion Hellen Obiri and 2015 All African Games champion Margaret Chelimo for company in the 5,000m race.

Other notable performances for Cherono includes last year’s victory at University of Eldoret Cross Country meeting, where she beat Daisy Kimeli and Kenyan-born Yasemin Can, who now represents Turkey.

Cherono clocked 25:54.6 as Kimeli finished second in 26:06.4. Can finished third in 26:28.8.

Obiri, 29, is  the current 5000m world champion after she won gold medal at the 2017 World Championships in London. She is also a silver medallist from the 2016 Summer Olympics over the same distance.

She won the 3000m title at the 2012 IAAF World Indoor Championships in Istanbul, Turkey. Obiri also holds the 5000m national record.

Obiri, who competes for Kenya Defence Forces, earned her place in the team after being granted a wild card by Athletics Kenya (AK), is hoping for a podium finish in her second appearance at the Club Games.

She finished sixth at the 2014 event in Glasgow, Scotland.

On the other hand, Cherono has performed well in the Africa scene and will be eyeing her first global title.

Cherono won silver at the 2016 African Championships.

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