Before I hang my spike, I have to set up a training camp- cheruiyot

As she prepares to exit the world of athletics, reigning Olympic 5,000m champion Vivian Cheruiyot has emphasized that she will be establishing a training camp to nurture the ever growing athletes in the country.

The Olympic Games 5,000m champion said her 22 years career did not just come since many athletes have failed to reach her level.

Speaking at her home in Ilula, Uasin Gishu County, Cheruiyot who has dominated track events said she wants to set up the camp to nurture the glut of talents in her area.

“Majority of them are still in school but my aim is that I want to have my own personal training camp for junior athletes. At the camp, I will be coaching them to become great athletes of all time once we hang up our spikes. The young people are our future,” said the multiple world champion.

Nick-named pocket rocket, Cheruiyot won the world cross country, won both 10,000m and 5,000m at the world championships, but the 2016 Rio Olympic Games in Brazil was the most memorable one after winning her maiden gold.

“After losing the 10,000m title to Ayana (Almaz) I did not gove up but revenged in 5,000m. The 5,000m Olympic gold was the only missing medal in my career and it was the last medal for me on track after years of toiling. I was so happy to win gold in the Olympics and graduated to the marathon,” explained Cheruiyot.

 She explained that what makes her run for long is because of discipline and passion and focusing to do more young ones to emulate some of them to progress well.

“I went to school, did what I did, I got what I got and athletics has made me travel far and wide across the world. I wanted to be like Sally Barsosio and hear that national anthem being and as the flag is raised just because of me, that shows am being celebrated worldwide,” she said.

“When I lost 10,000m, I cried and questioned myself on why I did not win. Where did I go wrong and what does Almaz Ayana do to win gold. It was bad that during the Olympic year, it is hard to get the gold medal and easier at the world championships and I consoled that a time will come. So I focused on 5,000m and we talked with Hellen Obiri to assist each other. When I looked at the back, I saw Obiri coming and crossing the line as a winner, I was so happy and immediately I changed to marathon,” she narrated.

She assured that being a champion is not easy, it needs determination, dedication and hard work but discipline is the key.

She also advised ladies that they should not fear maternity leave. “After maternity, I weighed 54kgs yet I always run at 39 so I had to cut off 15kgs. I returned after eight months before I started training. Ladies intending to go into maternity leave, it is not hard since I have also gone through that and come back slowly, don’t rush and you will succeed.”

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