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Kenya's Timothy Cheruiyot longs to pick maiden Olympic ticket

Kenya's Timothy Cheruiyot holds the national flag after winning the Men's 10,000m final at the 2019 IAAF Athletics World Championships at the Khalifa International stadium in Doha on October 6, 2019. [Photo by ANDREJ ISAKOVIC / AFP]

World 1500m champion Timothy Cheruiyot longs to go one better at the Olympic Games that run in Tokyo, Japan, from July 23 to August 8.

In the absence of former world 1500m champions in Asbel Kiprop and Elijah Manangoi, who are both serving doping bans, Cheruiyot has saved Kenya blushes in major competitions. 

He holds the rank of Chief Inspector of Prisons and would be out to impress his bosses by bagging an Olympic gold, which would easily slide him into the rank of Superintendent of Prisons.

“I have never been to the Olympic Games. I did not make it to Rio Olympics. I hope to make it this time. I am in good shape.

“I know the national trials will be too competitive but I will give it my best. You can’t be sure of it until you cross the finish line. I am confident of making it,” said Cheruiyot. “Of course, I had a wonderful 2019 season but the following year was disrupted by coronavirus. We had a few races."

Cheruiyot had an impressive 2019 season, winning 10 out of 11 races and that included the World Championships in Doha where he won gold.

He also bagged the Diamond League trophy that year. Cheruiyot is set to start the season with Doha Diamond League meet before embarking on preparations for Olympic national trials.

Algeria's Taoufik Makhloufi (top) congratulates Kenya's Timothy Cheruiyot on his win in the Men's 1500m final at the 2019 IAAF Athletics World Championships at the Khalifa International stadium in Doha on October 6, 2019. [Photo by Jewel SAMAD / AFP]

After staging good shows at the global stage, prisons authorities promoted him.

And last year, Cheruiyot and marathon great Catherine Ndereba were among a handful of Kenyans that President Uhuru Kenyatta honoured at the Jamhuri Day celebrations at Nyayo Stadium.

The 25-year-old Cheruiyot, the reigning world 1500m champion, was awarded Moran of the Burning Spear (MBS) for his impressive shows in athletics last year.

Cheruiyot ran world leading time 3:28.45 over 1500m and went undefeated in three 1500m races.

Not bad for a man who made frantic attempts to excel in 800m while at Kibungot Primary School and Singorwet Secondary School in Bomet County.

In 2011, he made his maiden trip to Nairobi to compete in World Youth Championships national trials and  managed only a fifth place.

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