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Kenya's Cheruiyot sets focus on marathon after Rio Olympics

24 March 2016, 19:02

Nairobi (Xinhua) -- World 10,000m champion Vivian Cheruiyot will end her track career at the Rio Olympics in August.

The 33-year-old was due to launch her debut at the half marathon race in Lisbon last week but pulled out, saying she had not had enough training and was also yet to get over an Achilles tendon injury.

However, she said she will compete in one half marathon race prior to focusing her training on track ahead of the Rio Olympics.

"I will be running one road race before going to the Olympics. The important thing is to win a medal in the Games," she said on Wednesday in Nairobi.

Indeed, the aspiration by Cheruiyot to focus on the track and get her final shot on the Olympic title are genuine. It will be her fourth Olympic appearance if she makes Kenya team to Rio.

There is the small matter of the explosive Kenyan trials to go through in June to confirm her place in the team. Not even her status as World Champion will grand her automatic ticket.

Cheruiyot debut at the Olympics in Sydney in 2000, but had to sit out the Athens games in 2004. She returned in Beijing in 2008 and was also in London four years ago.

It was in London that she got her first medals in the Olympics, silver in 5,000m and bronze in 10,000m. Now she hopes her last show at the Games on track will secure her gold.

"I have indeed competed four times at the Olympics. But it is the gold medal that I have missed in my collections. I hope Rio will be the venue to grant me this honour," she said.

But her resolve to move a gear up to marathon is unwavering. Cheruiyot has confirmed she will retire from the track and move to the marathon after the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.

"I want to hand over the track baton to the upcoming generation in style and that is why I am shifting to marathon after Rio Olympics," she said.

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- Xinhua

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