Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.


Kenya's poster girl Cherono relishing chance to dazzle in Rio

01 August 2016, 18:55

Nairobi (Xinhua) -- Mercy Cherono is simply Kenya' s athletics poster girl, with her dashing smile illuminating international championships since she announced herself to the world as the women 3000m junior champion at the Bydgoszcz 2008 edition in Poland.

From television adverts to billboards, the 25-year-old from the northwestern region of Kericho has grown from a shy but precocious talent into a fashion symbol in a sport that has placed her nation on the global map.

At the 2014 Commonwealth Games, Cherono gave a reminder of her abilities when she won gold in the women's 5000m final, having taken the second medal at the 2013 IAAF World Championships at the distance.

However, what would have been her Olympics debut in London 2012 was erased by injury and having qualified in the Kenyan 5000m team, Cherono was eager to make up for lost time but her build-up for Rio 2016 was blighted by the court case facing her Italian coach, Claudio Berardelli, who is out on bail on charges related to doping.

"I have been forced to miss training to travel to Nairobi to support him because we believe he is being framed. It has disturbed me and my colleagues," she rued, her beautiful face dulled by dark rings of despair.

To realise her medal dream in Brazil, Cherono who repeated as 3000m junior champion in 2010, faces arguably the toughest test of her rewarding career having trailed four-time world champion, Vivian Cheruiyot and women 3000m world indoor champion, Helen Obiri across the line in distant third at the Kenya Trials for Rio 2016 in Eldoret in Jul. 1 in 15:25.51.

"I was really excited to qualify, I had been praying for it since last year so I' m really excited. If we co-operate and be one as a team everything is possible," she stated having run 15:01.36 for fifth at the 2015 IAAF World Championships in Beijing.

"I' m working hard trying to do my best. It' s not fair for our coach to be going what he is going through and we need his case to end so that we can concentrate," she emphasized.

Cherono hates to lose and every time she disappoints on the track, she often bursts to tears especially when wearing her cherished red, green and black Kenyan strip.

"I don' t know about emotions because it just comes but you try to maintain it the best way you can," the 2007 World Youth champion in 3000m explained.

Her stunning looks have brought her more fame that her achievements in the sport domestically, having grown to a social media darling with every picture she posts on social media going viral, appearing in Kenya' s biggest television shows and adverts.

Suitors from far and wide have vied for her affections but she deftly ducks the question of whether anyone has been lucky to win her heart.

"I' m engaged to the Olympics. Nothing else but the Olympics," she said flashing one of her famous smile that melts many a heart.

A couple of years ago, she told a local television station that she was keen on taking up golf as a pastime outside athletics but the more mature version of the pinup girl has adopted a rather somber hobby.

"I love reading to relax. Helps me gain more knowledge, since there is life outside athletics," the Kenya Police Service officer, who is often engaged at the force' s parade during national celebrations to show the glamorous part of law enforcement, replied with a grin.

Beside the international competition fronted by London 2012 women 10000m silver medallist, Cheruiyot, 32 and Obiri who has recently returned from attending to maternal duties, the Kenyans force the formidable force that is world women 5000m champion from Beijing 2015, Ethiopia' s Almaz.

- Xinhua


Read more from our Users

Submitted by
Jayne Zack
I am in ODM to stay, Busia Depu...

Busia Deputy Governor Kizito Wangalwa told Deputy President William on the face that he was in the Orange Democratic Movement to stay. Read more...

Boda Boda operators in Bahati rai...

Motorbike Boda Boda operators from Bahati Sub county on Tuesday took to the streets of Nakuru’s CBD lamenting over what they term is harassment by patrol police officers in the area. Read more...

Submitted by
Gabriel Ngallah
Human Rights activist lives in fe...

The Human rights fraternity in Mombasa is currently living in fear after the home of one of the vocal human rights champion was invaded on Monday night. Read more...

Submitted by
kel wesh
Poisonous milk powder siezed by K...

The Kenya Revenue Authority has seized two containers with illegal milk powder which had been declared as gypsum board at Mombasa port. Read more...

Submitted by
William Korir
Be ready for protests, Raila warn...

Expect protests if meddling with Auditor General continues, Raila Odinga has said. Read more...

Submitted by
Kenya says will return to interna...

Kenya will return to international markets to borrow when it feels the time is right, National Treasury Cabinet Secretary Henry Rotich said on Tuesday. Read more...