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Kenya’s Most Decorated, Vivian Cheruiyot Bids Farewell to 10,000m

Kenya bids farewell to one of its longest serving athletes. Following a successful track career, Vivian Cheruiyot will not defend her World 10,000m title in London next year. The 33-year-old will now move to road running starting next year, after achieving an Olympic gold medal dream at the Rio Summer Games on August 16.

[perfectpullquote align=”full” cite=”” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=””]”I am targeting my second half marathon in February next year before a full marathon debut later,”[/perfectpullquote]

said Cheruiyot.

Cheruiyot who was crowned 2016 Female Athlete of the Year for a second consecutive year, at the Athletics Kenya Golden Gala, this week in Nairobi also said, [perfectpullquote align=”full” cite=”” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=””]”I celebrated 18 years on track this year and I think it’s time to pave way for upcoming athletes to take over the baton from me.”[/perfectpullquote]

The 5,000m Rio Olympics winner believes there is upcoming talent in Kenya that will one day “fit in the spikes”, the country’s Long Distance Athlete of the Year, will be leaving behind.

“Eighteen years is a long time and I don’t take this for granted. I thank God for his mercies ad blessings this far,” Cheruiyot said in gratitude to Kenyans and her family.

Just like her fellow athlete and good friend, Usain Bolt, Cheruiyot leaves on a high note and will be one of Kenya’s most memorable athletes. Her stunning Rio success tallied the number of medals the Kenyan has won in major championship races, to 24 making her the most decorated Kenyan female athlete in history, since 1998 when she first competed for her nation.

FAN FACT: Cheruiyot was required to repeat Standard 5 in 1998 but it was the year that unveiled her in the national team’s junior ranks. She finished fifth in the junior women’s race at the World Cross, in Marakech which was also her international debut.

The following year, while still a primary school pupil, Cheruiyot earned herself a national team spot again for the World Cross Country in Belfast, winning junior silver.

In June of the same year at the All Africa Games in Johannesburg, she won bronze in the 5000m, her first major track honor following her top performance at the national track and field championships.

Featured Photo: Cheruiyot and Usain Bolt at the 2016 Rio Olympics. The Kenyan will not defend her World 10,000m title and has handed over the baton. (EPA)

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