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Mercy Cherono gears up to make a strong return

ATHLETICS By Jonathan Komen | May 30th 2021
Former World 5000m Silver Medalist Mercy Cherono trains for Olympic games in Kapsabet Nandi County. 29.05.2021. [Peter Ochieng, The Standard]

After battling injuries for two years, 2013 world 5000m silver medallist Mercy Cherono is gearing up for Tokyo Olympic Games national trials at Kasarani Stadium on June 17-19.

The 29-year-old, who finished fourth at the 2016 Rio Olympic Games in the 5000m event behind her compatriots – gold medalist Vivian Cheruiyot and Hellen Obiri, and Ethiopian Almaz Ayana – will battle for the prized ticket to the Olympic Games that run in Tokyo, Japan, from July 23 to August 8.

“After the Rio Olympics, I had a frightening foot fracture that made me miss out on the 2017 and 2018 seasons. I had to lay back from competitions and I decided to start a family and in the process, I had a baby girl,” Cherono said. “Immediately after the Covid-19 pandemic outbreak last year, I retreated back and continue training.

She added: “We are now training well and our focus is on the national trials. Training at home in Kericho and Kapsabet is good for me. I opted to train in Kapsabet so that I can stay closer to my coach and have better training sessions.

“You know training closer to the coach makes things easier. He monitors all areas of weakness and sees if I can improve.” 

But her beautiful looks and the latest hairdo will no doubt make a statement about her off-the-track lifestyle, just as she did when she won 5000m gold at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, Scotland – without much fuss.

Cherono is no longer that rural girl from the far-flung Kipajit village in Bomet County but a fashion model. She is gorgeous in her running kit and absolutely stunning in an evening gown!

When she threw down the gauntlet to the Commonwealth nations’ participants, one point came out clearly inside Hampden Park in Glasgow: the world’s male sporting enthusiasts cooed with envy as the beauty queen headed to the start line.

Cherono is the World Youth and World Junior champion as well as the world senior silver medalist in 5000m. [Peter Ochieng, The Standard] 

Cherono, whose beauty and style are drooled over the global athletics scene, did not disappoint her fans when she blew away her rivals.

She is the World Youth and World Junior champion as well as the world senior silver medalist in 5000m and her hairdo with colours of the Kenyan flag always causes a stir and admiration among the menfolk across the globe.

She is no doubt a perfect definition of a billboard girl as her hair brings out her personality. “I had good performance as a junior, winning world cross country junior championships twice. It really helped transition to senior level. I had a nice build up given that athletics is a process. You can’t just change instantly. You have to navigate slowly.

“I have been out of competitions for almost two years due to injury. During this period, I have learned to become patient and how to multi task motherhood and athletics.

“I hope to make the Olympic team for the second time. But the biggest hurdle is the national trials. At the 2016 Rio Olympics, we managed top two positions. I hope we can make 1-2-3 this time.

“I am planning to step up to road races and even marathon in future. And that will depend on what my coach will advise and the body response,” said Cherono.

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