Aces Kipchoge, Cheruiyot keep hope, faith alive

Tuesday, April 28th, 2020 00:00 |
Eliud Kipchoge and Vivian Cheruiyot on the podium after winning the 2018 London Marathon. Photo/PD/FILE

Nairobi, Monday

Olympic champions Eliud Kipchoge and Vivian Cheruiyot have urged their fans to remain hopeful even as the world battles the effect of coronavirus globally.

The two were due to compete at the London Marathon last Sunday, but the race, like many across the globe, has been postponed. Organisers have picked on October 4 as the new dates if the health situation allows.

Cheruiyot, who has recovered from a tendon injury, which ruled her out of the Berlin marathon last year, says despite there being no competition across the sports spectrum, she was happy to be healthy and said she will live to compete again soon. 

“Today, there will be no London marathon, but we will be back in action soon. Stay positive and stay healthy,” said Cheruiyot on Sunday from Eldoret.

For Kipchoge, who is unable to train with his teammates, the virus will be defeated and sports will flourish yet again. 

“We will return to action stronger and with a lot of hope,” said Kipchoge.

“The important thing is to remain focused and disciplined. We have a war to fight against the coronavirus, but we have a responsibility to remain healthy and safe,” he added. 

The two were also named in the Kenyan team for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics before it was pushed back to 2021. 

But with no guarantees, Cheruiyot hopes to remain injury free and will always honour a call to represent the country in the Olympics. 

However, Cheruiyot is non-committal on her fitness ahead of the Tokyo Olympics set for July 2021.

“One year is a long time and we want to be in our best shape and compete. But we will be patient and see how the season unfolds. The important thing for now is to remain safe, there are no immediate plans on sports and we have to live with that. Until then, we just train as often as we can under the health guidelines,” he said.

Already, the London Marathon race director Hugh Brasher has said that while he hopes the event to take place on October 4, it might have to be slimmed down to an elite only race. 

“But in today’s society, you can never say never. We are trying to stay really agile and to keep scenario planning. And at the moment, I don’t want to discount anything until it becomes really impossible,” he said.

Brasher also would not confirm whether Kipchoge and Ethiopia’s Kenenisa Bekele had signed up for October’s revised race. -Xinhua

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