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Articles tagged #Mercy Cherono
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Kenyan Mercy Cherono credits parents for long career in athletics

The 2014 Commonwealth Games 5,000m champion Mercy Cherono has described her father as a pivotal pillar in her athletics career since her junior heydays. 

Cherono said her father's frequent advice has helped her avoid pitfalls that many athletes experience in the course of their careers. 

"The first thing is to trust in God. The second is to have a strong relationship with parents. I have been very close with my father and he has been advising me, alongside my mother, ever since I was a junior runner. Up to now, I still consult him on various issues and that is why I have not had challenges with rogue coaches," Cherono said. 

The 2013 world 5,000m silver medalist subsequently advises athletes to love themselves first as well as to remain close to their old folks if they are to excel. 

"You need to respect yourself first and place a high value on what you do. You also need to trust in God, respect your parents as well as the coaches. If you do this, then you will be able to shield yourself from such unscrupulous individuals," she said. 

Cherono further advocated for gender equality in the athletics coaching sector to mitigate cases of sexual harassment of female athletes by male coaches. 

"If you look at the South Rift for example, majority of the coaches are male. We need to empower more ladies to become coaches. I believe they are better placed to mentor the young athletes and guide them on what to do right to avoid falling prey to rogue coaches," added the 2010 World Cross Country junior champion. 

Regarding upcoming competitions, Cherono has set sight on next year's major competitions and plans to compete in the ongoing national cross country series. 

"I feel it would be a good opportunity for me to get in shape in preparation for next year," she said. 

Cherono was among hundreds of athletics stakeholders who showed up in Kericho County for a consultative meeting with Athletics Kenya as part of face-to-face discussions on the issues ailing the sport. 

Speaking at the same event, athletes' representative in Kericho, Peter Cheruiyot, concurred with Cherono's sentiments, noting that male athletes are also undergoing harrowing times due to wrong relationships. 

"The ladies have decided to be more vocal about it but the men choose to remain silent. Many are struggling with the management of family affairs back home. It is a tough act balancing between career and family needs, which often collide," Cheruiyot said. 

He urged AK and other stakeholders to impart the importance of education onto young athletes at the grassroots rather than wait until their careers are so far gone. 

"Those who cannot afford fees should be assisted so they can balance between education and career. We have the Olympics 800m champion (Emmanuel Korir) who is in the US but is often available to compete in local races back home," he said. 

(11/18/2021) Views: 72 ⚡AMP
by Omondi Onyatta

Janeth Jepkosgei is nurturing young runners in Kenya

For what she is doing for young runners and the community, Janeth Jepkosgei remains a heroine even after changing her career from an athlete to a coach and mentor.

“I am doing this because of the love I have for running and for the athletes. Running changed my life in a big way. I find great joy in nurturing and guiding young runners and in seeing them begin to excel in their careers as well,” said 2007 world 800m champion Jepkosgei, referring to the numerous selfless contributions she has made to support young runners from different levels and backgrounds and the training camps she has set up to do so.

“For me to become a successful runner, I had to go through a number of good people in my life that helped me, including some of my relatives, my first coach Paul Ereng and later on, coach Claudio Berardelli. I want to be able to give out the same help I received and change lives as well.”

Jepkosgei recalled one incident that moved her to tears, when a young talented runner they had identified attended camp with hardly any belongings.

“The runner came into the camp with one half of an old blanket that she had cut in two pieces and left the other half for her mother to use at home. Eunice Sum (the 2013 world 800m champion) immediately rushed to town and came back with some new bedding for the young runner,” she said.

Around two and half kilometres along the Kapsabet to Nandi Hills road lies some of the most prime lands surrounded by beautiful and evergreen landscapes. Land here could easily be turned into a tea farm, a real estate, a big hotel, a hospital, or anything, given its proximity to town and other social amenities in the area. This is where Jepkosgei’s camp is situated.

Arriving at the camp, which features a big house on the green and a serene environment that Jepkosgei has given out freely to 20 young runners to use for their accommodation, plus a van that takes them to the track facilities and on some of their long runs, there arose a burning question: Why did she decide to establish a free camp for the young runners?

From the way she interacted with the runners, who were clearly elated to see her arrive, one could have easily mistaken her for being just another random runner in the camp as they exchanged a few greetings and some light moments.

Besides this camp, Jepkosgei is also involved with other runners of different levels in different places, including a school holiday camp that hosts and trains around 86 runners when schools close. There are a number of senior runners who went through her hands to the level they are now, and who are still closely connected with her in their training and in guiding the young runners. They include Sum, 2019 world 5000m silver medallist Margaret Kipkemboi and 2013 world 5000m silver medallist Mercy Cherono, among others.

The results from the recent World Athletics U20 Championships in Nairobi were great news and a great motivation for Jepkosgei and the young runners in the camp to aim for better things in the future. Four runners in the camp qualified for the event and three of them won medals. Emmanuel Wanyonyi won gold in the men’s 800m, Sylvia Chelangat claimed bronze in the women’s 400m and Levy Kibet achieved another bronze in the men’s 5000m. If the camp had entered itself as an individual country, it would have placed joint 15th out of the 114 teams that participated.

Jepkosgei, however, is not letting the one-time victories distract them from focusing on the future. She likes to see patience, long-term continuous progress and success in her runners.

Wanyonyi, who ran an impressive 800m race in Kasarani last month to register a championship record and personal best of 1:43.76, is clearly already a good student of Jepkosgei and he explained how his main focus now is on winning the Olympic title at the Paris Games in 2024.

“Both Wanyonyi and Chelangat seem to have great mindsets that will take them far. Despite not coming from a family or a region that has a history in running, Wanyonyi is already special in showing that talents don’t have to come from a particular region or tribe. Chelangat on her part is specialising in the 400m, which is not a common event among the Kenyan stars,” Jepkosgei said.

While focusing more on coaching the young runners, Jepkosgei still works closely with her former coach, Berardelli, in exchanging notes on how best to guide them. She also has an assistant coach, Hillary Lelei, who is usually stationed at the camp.

“With my past experience as a runner and the working relationship I still have with my former coach, I believe I have what it takes to guide these runners to reach their full potential. But it still is a continuous learning experience. I am learning that it is not obvious that whatever worked for me will work for others, that different training methods may apply differently to different runners,” she said.

“I believe that we need more female coaches in Kenya who can understand and handle young girls well. There are some issues that the girls may feel more comfortable sharing with a female coach than with a male coach.”

(09/17/2021) Views: 102 ⚡AMP
by World Athletics

Worku and Yavi are in the spotlight at the Cinque Mulini cross country in Italy

Ethiopian teenager Tadese Worku and defending champion Winfred Mutile Yavi from Bahrain will be in the spotlight at the 88th edition of the Cinque Mulini in San Vittore Olona, Italy, the seventh leg of this season’s World Athletics Cross Country Permit, on Sunday (26).

The 2020 edition of the famous Italian cross country race will be highlighted by a battle between the new wave of African stars, duded “Generation Z” by race organisers, and the best Italian middle distance runners.

Three of the top four finishers in the U20 race at last year’s World Cross Country Championships - Worku, Oscar Chelimo from Uganda and Leonard Kipkemboi Bett from Kenya - will line-up in the men’s race.

Worku, who turned 18 on 20 January, won the U20 silver medal in Aarhus last March. He has been one of most consistent cross country runners this season with back-to-back wins in the World Athletics Cross Country Permit meetings in Elgoibar and Seville. Worku also won the Giro di Castelbuono road race last July, finished third at the Giro al Sas in Trento and set career best times of 7:43.24 in the 3000m and 13:18.17 in the 5000m.

Chelimo, the younger brother of 2018 Cinque Mulini winner Jacob Kiplimo, won bronze in the same Arhus race and took bronze in the 3000m at the 2018 Youth Olympic Games in Buenos Aires. The 18-year-old Ugandan clocked 7:44.82 in the 3000m and 13:20.10 in the 5000m.

Bett won the world U20 steeplechase title in 2018 and went on to finish fourth in the U20 race in Aarhus. He set his 3000m steeplechase lifetime best of 8:08.61 in Doha last May.

Burundi’s Thierry Ndikumwenayo will fight for another top-three placing after winning in Alcobendas on 24 November and finishing second in Soria one week earlier. The 22-year-old trains with Italy’s Yemaneberhan Crippa under the guidance of Italian coach Massimo Pegoretti.

Morocco’s 1500m specialist Abdelati Iguider will test his shape over a longer distance with the aim to continue the proud Moroccan tradition in San Vittore Olona, which started with the wins of Khalid Skah in 1991 and Salah Hissou in 1999 and the runner-up finish by Soufian El Bakkali in 2017. Iguider won the bronze medal at the 2012 Olympic Games in London and at the 2015 World Championships in Beijing.

Another interesting entrant is Kenya’s Jackson Muema, who won the cross country race at the 2018 Youth Olympic Games.

Crippa will carry Italian hopes for a top-three placing after finishing fourth for the second consecutive year at the Campaccio Cross Country race on 6 January. During a successful 2019 season Crippa finished eighth in the 10,000m at the World Championships clocking 27:10.76 to break the national record. Last December he won European Cross Country bronze after winning the U20 race in 2014 and 2015 and finishing third in the U23 race in 2016 and 2017. Crippa trained for three weeks in Monte Gordo in Portugal in preparation for the Cinque Mulini and will be aiming to become the first Italian to reach the podium since Stefano Baldini in 2005.

The Italian line-up is completed by Yohanes Chiappinelli, the European 3000m steeplechase bronze medallist in 2018, Cesare Maestri, silver medallist at the 2019 World Mountain Running Championships and winner at last week’s Vallagarina Cross Country race in Rovereto, and Italian 5000m champion Marouan Razine, who finished sixth at the Campaccio this year.

Yavi targetting successful defence

Yavi will return to San Vittore Olona to defend the title she won last year in snowy conditions. The 20-year-old went on to finish fourth in the 3000m steeplechase at the World Championships after improving her lifetime best to 9:10.74 in Monaco.

Kenyan hopes will be carried by Mercy Cherono, world silver medallist in the 5000m in Moscow 2013, and Gloria Kite, who finished third in the 2019 Cinque Mulini and in the 2020 Campaccio and set her 3000m PB with 8:29.91 in Doha last May.

The women’s race will be also highlighted by 20-year-old Kenyan Jackline Jerono, who won two recent cross country races in Allonnes and Le Mans, France, and Jasmijn Bakker from the Netherlands, who was fourth in the U23 race at last month’s European Championships.  

Rising Italian middle distance star Nadia Battocletti will aim to continue her successful season after claiming her second European Cross Country U20 title and finishing sixth at the Campaccio. The daughter of former distance runner Giuliano Battocletti won the European U20 silver medal in the 5000m last year.

Other Italian runners in the field are world U20 mountain running champion Angela Mattevi and Valeria Roffino, who finished 11th at the European Cross Country Championships.

(01/25/2020) Views: 612 ⚡AMP
by World Athletics

Faniel ends Italian drought in Bolzano while Kipkemboi equals course record

World 5000m silver medallist Margaret Chelimo Kipkemboi equalled the course record at the BOclassic Silvesterlauf while marathon specialist Eyob Gebrhiwet Faniel became the first Italian winner of the World Athletics Bronze Label road race since 1988 in Bolzano on Tuesday (31).

Faniel took an upset win in 28:21, beating world 5000m leader Telahun Haile Bekele by seven seconds. The last time an Italian runner won in Bolzano was in 1988 when Salvatore Antibo and Maria Curatolo took top honours.

Kenya’s Amos Kipruto, the world marathon bronze medallist, finished third in 28:37 ahead of Ugandan steeplechase specialist Albert Chemutai (28:50) and European 10,000m bronze medallist Yemaneberhan Crippa (28:54).

A leading group formed by Bekele, Kipruto, Chemutai, Crippa, Faniel and Ethiopia’s Mohammed Abdilmana took the lead in the early stages of the race. They ran at a conservative pace, clocking 3:31 for both the first and second laps. Faniel took the initiative and moved to the front at the end of the third lap with 10:44 on the clock.

The leading pack was whittled down to five runners during the fifth lap. Bekele, Faniel and Kipruto broke away from Crippa and Chemutai with two laps to go and went through the sixth lap mark in 21:23. Faniel went to the lead and only Bekele managed to keep up with the Italian, while Kipruto was dropped by three seconds.

Bekele, who clocked a world-leading 12:52.98 for 5000m in Rome earlier in 2019, launched his attack during the last lap, but Faniel caught up with the Ethiopian and broke away by unleashing his final kick with 200 metres to go near the Fountain of Frogs. He crossed the finish line in Walther Square in 28:21, improving his previous career best over this distance by three seconds.

Faniel finished fifth in the marathon at the European Championships in 2018 and 15th at the World Championships in Doha. Earlier this year the 27-year-old improved his half marathon PB to 1:00:53 in Padua. Born in Eritrea but living in Italy since 2004, Faniel is coached by Italian former marathon runner Ruggero Pertile.

“I knew that I could run a good race, but I was not sure that I would be able to win against such great athletes,” said Faniel. “I am now training hard in preparation for the Seville Marathon in February.”

Two-time Boclassic winner and world half marathon champion Netsanet Gudeta, Margaret Chelimo Kipkemboi, Mercy Cherono, Tariku Alemitu and Gloria Kite ran at a swift pace from the early stages of the women’s 5km race.

They went through the first lap in 3:43 and the second lap in 7:42. Gudeta, Kipkemboi and Kite pulled away from Cherono during the third lap and clocked 11:39 at the bell.

Gudeta and Kipkemboi stepped up the pace and were neck and neck race during the final lap. Kipkemboi launched her final kick with 200 metres to go and held on to take the win in 15:30, equalling the course record set by her compatriot Agnes Tirop in 2017. In a close finish, Gudeta was just one second behind with Kite a further second in arrears.

Kenya’s 2013 world 5000m silver medallist Mercy Cherono finished fourth in 15:38, while Italy’s double European U20 cross-country champion Nadia Battocletti was sixth in 16:11.

“It was my second time in Bolzano and I was well prepared as I am familiar with the course,” said Kipkemboi, who intends on contesting some cross-country races over the next few months. “It was a fast race and I am happy that I managed to beat Gudeta.”

(01/01/2020) Views: 936 ⚡AMP
by World Athletics

Berlin marathon silver medalist Amos Kipruto is optimistic to clinch gold at the World Championships in Doha, Qatar

Kipruto, 27, has made the Kenya's team to the World Marathon Championships after his sensational run in Berlin chasing down Olympic champion Eliud Kipchoge as he went on to set a new world record of 2:01:39 in the German capital.

Though Kipruto finished the race almost four minutes later clocking 2:06:23, it opened a door for him to represent the country at the World Championships and he has promises to help the country maintain a firm grip on the gold medal at the worlds.

"I must laud the head coach for trusting me with the duty to represent Kenya at the World Championships. It will be my first time to represent Kenya at the World Championships and I had been praying over it for some time.

"In Kenya we have many athletes and being selected means that I am living the dream itself. So it is up to me to win gold and wrap it up for the country," Kipruto said on Thursday in Eldoret.

Kipruto says Kenyan athletes have the talent, and need not waste it through short cuts by cheating.

"The short cuts are not good. This vice must be destroyed and athletes need to learn that it pays to win clean. Today, we are the most tested athletes worldwide and anyone winning does it through hard training," Kipruto said.

"If you run and train well, it will help you win clean. I know am capable of running a world record one time, but at the moment the focus is on the gold at the World championships."

Kipruto will link up with defending champion Geoffrey Kirui, two-time Paris marathon champion Paul Lonyangata, Laban Korir, and Ernest Ngeno.

At the same time former Commonwealth Games 5,000m champion Mercy Cherono is back from maternity leave and hopes to make Kenya team to the World Championships.

Cherono last won a silver medal in 5,000m during the 2013 Championships in Moscow, Russia.

"I am back in training and hope to make the World Championship team because I have nothing more to prove. Pressure is off me and all I need to do is run my race," she said.

(08/08/2019) Views: 1,340 ⚡AMP
IAAF World Athletics Championships Doha

IAAF World Athletics Championships Doha

The seventeenth edition of the IAAF World Championships is scheduled to be held between 27 September and 6 October 2019 in Doha, Qatar at the renovated multi-purpose Khalifa International Stadium. Doha overcame bids from Eugene, USA, and Barcelona, Spain to be granted the rights to host the 2019 IAAF World Championships in Athletics. Having hosted the IAAF Diamond League, formerly...


Kenyan´s Mercy Cherono is back from maternity leave and hopes to make Team Kenya from the World Championships

Former Commonwealth Games 5,000m champion Mercy Cherono is back from maternity leave and hopes to make Team Kenya to the World Championships set for September in Doha, Qatar.

The two-time world junior 3,000m champion said she is back to take her rightful position on the track. Cherono last won a silver medal in 5,000m during the 2013 Championships in Moscow, Russia.

“I am back in training and my focus is on the trials. I have no pressure and I am optimistic of making the cut to World Championships,” said Cherono, who won gold in 3,000m at the World Junior Championships in 2008 and 2010. She said she will be seeking a slot in her 5,000m speciality and expects stiff competition.

“All things have changed because I will be running as a mother unlike before and I believe I am stronger than before. After maternity, we always run better because we had enough time to recover.

Any time you train, you are exhausted but after maternity, you run as if you are starting all over again. Just like a kindergarten pupil, you have too much energy to perform,” she added. 

Cherono won 5,000m gold at the 2014 Commonwealth Games but failed to defend her title in 2018 as she was on the maternity leave. “Winning a title will be great for me and the country at large because I have had a good time in training. I have also featured in some local meetings,” added Cherono.

(08/07/2019) Views: 991 ⚡AMP
by Emmanuel Sabani
IAAF World Athletics Championships Doha

IAAF World Athletics Championships Doha

The seventeenth edition of the IAAF World Championships is scheduled to be held between 27 September and 6 October 2019 in Doha, Qatar at the renovated multi-purpose Khalifa International Stadium. Doha overcame bids from Eugene, USA, and Barcelona, Spain to be granted the rights to host the 2019 IAAF World Championships in Athletics. Having hosted the IAAF Diamond League, formerly...


Mercy Cherono is back after a long maternity leave break

Mercy Cherono is a Kenyan long-distance runner. She was the silver medalist in the 5000 meters at the 2013 World Championships.

She is a two-time world junior champion in the 3000 metres (2008, 2010) and has also won gold medals at the 2007 World Youth Championships in Athletics and 2008 Commonwealth Youth Games.

The great Champion is back after a long maternity leave break. The 5000M commonwealth games gold medalist Mercy Cherono (in yellow) in action during her home Bomet County Ahletics Kenya Cross Country competition.

Cherono hopes to join the elite club of greats runners who posted impressive shows on their return from maternity break.

These include London Marathon winner Vivian Cheruiyot, women-only world marathon record holder Mary Keitany, two-time Berlin Marathon winner Florence Kiplagat and Ethiopia’s Olympic champion Tirunesh Dibaba.

“It was only a short break but I am back,” says Cherono.  “I know people have been asking where I disappeared. I was on maternity break and I’m happy to be back.” 

She got married in 2016 and gave birth to a baby girl in 2018. Mercy has a PR of 8:38:51 in 3000m which she set in 2012.

Her beauty and style appeals to many in the global athletics scenes. The great champion who started running while in primary school and mentored by her father John Koech who also runs a training camp in Kipajit village, has a most promising career. Mercy is coached by Gabriel Kiptanui. She is the oldest in her family of six.

(02/14/2019) Views: 1,179 ⚡AMP
by Willie Korir reporting from Kenya
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