It’s Manang’oi or I for world record, says Cheruiyot

Friday, December 13th, 2019 00:00 |
World 1,500m champion Timothy Cheruiyot after winning gold at the Doha World Championships in October. Photo/PD/FILE

World 1,500m champion Timothy Cheruiyot has predicted either he or stable-mate Elijah Manangoi as the likely candidates to assault the over two decade world record over the distance.

While top of the agenda for the three-time Diamond League trophy winner is an Olympics gold medal, he is well aware that he was only three years old when Moroccan Hicham El Guerrouj timed 3:26.00 for what stands as the world record to date.

Cheruiyot is, however, certain there is a good combination of athletes to lower the time set in Rome in 1998.

“I know Elijah has a very strong finish and also what he is capable of doing. I know one of us will have the honours of one day becoming the record holder,” said Cheruiyot, who won the world title in a time of in 3:29.26 during the 2019 event in Doha, Qatar. 

“I am happy to be able to motivate upcoming athletes even from the village. It is even great when you know many want to emulate you.

We will continue to push each other in training to achieve our targets,” said 24-year-old, from Silibwet, Bomet County.

The first born in a family of four, Cheruiyot, who holds a personal best of 3:28.41, is keen to banish the demons of 2016 when he failed to qualify for the Olympics before thinking of a medal.

“I remember I had just returned from Durban, South Africa where I won silver during the Africa Championships. I ended up finishing fourth during the trials and missed a place in team Kenya for Rio Olympics,” recalls Cheruiyot.

“I have to work extra hard to make sure I am in the team to Tokyo,”  said the athlete, who is back in training for next season at Rongai Athletics Club under coach Bernard Ouma.

“I am doing a lot of strength work in the gym combined with long runs of 30km per day. This is all meant to make me a better competitor,” he added.

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