World champion Vivian Cheruiyot’s facebook and twitter accounts were abuzz with messages from friends and fans on Wednesday after she disclosed that she was expecting her first child.
Cheruiyot had written in her Facebook account: “I am very happy to announce that I will take some time off from athletics this year as I am pregnant with my first child.
“I have been running for many years and at 29 feel that now is the right time to start a family. Unfortunately I will not be able to defend my World Championships 5,000m and 10,000m titles in Moscow but I will be back for the 2014 season and the 2015 World T&F (track and field) Championships in Beijing.
“I have already spoken to some of my colleagues who had babies to get advice about when to return to training after giving birth. My long term goal is the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio and to finally win Olympic gold.”
This disclosure attracted frenzied reaction from friends and funds. Many congratulated her for being the first Kenya athlete to announce her pregnant status.
Others expressed disappointment saying the country was counting on her for gold medals at the World Championships in Moscow in August. Within 24 hours her Facebook update had attracted 584 comments and 484 likes.
Philip Kipkemoi Kiprono writing on Cheruiyot Facebook page said: “Congratulations ...not all can speak out ...thanks for your honesty to this great nation ...Mary did not inform US until we got information from her manager. Congratulations to both of you ....motherhood .....”
Benzy Mwens said: “Wen motherhood beckons we ave to answer am sure ull mek an awesome mum and u wil sumhw fyd the balance career wise.”
Proud of your representation
On his part, Ruto Obadiah wrote: “all te best vivian, na tulikutegemea kwa gold this season.......” Gilbert Kimoloi said: “We are so proud of your representation for our beloved Kenya. You are worthy of the break so as to propagate the talent. God bless your plans.”
“Good to hear that i av been asking mai self y your not getting a baby i av some answers to that vivi,” Eliud Kipkesio wrote.
Speculation that Cheruiyot could be expectant started doing the rounds when she announced that she would not defend her senior race title at the World Cross Country Championships in Bydgoszcz, Poland in March, this year.
The 29-year-old World 5,000m and 10,000m champion failed to take part in the Kenya Police Cross-country Championships.
Many thought she would get a wild card to the National Championships on February 16 at Uhuru Gardens and finally make the Kenyan team to Poland.
Her coach Moses Kiplagat explaining that the athlete wanted to concentrate on training to defend her two World Athletics Championship titles between August 10 to 18 in Moscow.
Kiplagat said the athlete was training in Kaptagat in readiness for Moscow and would run in a series of IAAF Permit meetings.