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Mercy Cherono primed for big Olympics debut

Wednesday July 27 2016
CHERONO_PIX

Commonwealth Games 5,000 metres champion Mercy Cherono in action during a past training session. She will team up with world champion Vivian Cheruiyot and World Indoor Champion Hellen Obiri at the Olympics. PHOTO | JARED NYATAYA |

By BENARD ROTICH

Commonwealth Games 5,000 metres champion Mercy Cherono has said Kenyan athletes have what it takes to sweep medals at the Olympics.

Cherono, who will be making her maiden appearance at the Olympics, will be seeking glory in women’s 5,000m race.

And she is excited to have got a chance to team up with world champion Vivian Cheruiyot and World Indoor champion Hellen Obiri in Brazil.

“I’m very much excited to be among the few who will be representing Team Kenya. It will be my first appearance at the Olympics. I ask Kenyans to pray for the team so that we can do better,” said Cherono.

Cherono warned her team mates not to underrate Ethiopians in Brazil.

“We can do better if we run as a team. Ethiopians will offer stiff competition but we have what it takes to win,” said Cherono.

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Cherono, who hails from Kericho, however said her training programme was affected after her coach Claudio Berardelli was arrested but she has since adjusted and is looking forward to a better performance next month.

She first competed in her specialty in the junior category during the 2007 World Cross Country Championships in Mombasa and finished 23rd overall.

She went on to win gold medal over 3,000m and silver in 5,000m at the 2010 Africa Junior Championships Mauritius. She wound up fifth during the 20111 World Championships in Daegu, South Korea but went on to claim silver in the subsequent edition in Russia over 5,000m.

After fifth at last year’s World Championships, she has now set her sights on winning gold in Rio.

“I’m looking forward to winning a medal this year after missing out on a medal at last year’s World Championships in Beijing, China,” said Cherono.

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