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Sport Olympics-Athletics-Kenya's Cheruiyot sharpening form as Olympics beckon, coach says

06:26  22 july  2021
06:26  22 july  2021 Source:   reuters.com

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Kenya ' s Timothy Cheruiyot , a late addition to the Olympic team after initially failing to qualify, is sharpening his preparation as he looks to win gold at his first Games at Tokyo 2020, his coach said . The reigning 1,500 metre world champion struggled at last month's Kenyan trials, which can sometimes be more competitive than the Olympics themselves. He finished fourth, missing the cut to compete in Tokyo andconjuring memories of his failure to qualify for the Rio Olympics five years earlier.

Vivian Cheruiyot celebrating Kenya ' s first 5000 m women's title. On the ninth and final day of action in the track and field stadium, Matthew Centrowitz Jr. secured a tactical win in the men's 1500 m while Caster Semenya used her sheer speed to win the women's 800 m. Behind her Silvia Danekova of Bulgaria was the first athletics doping suspension at the Olympics , as the sample she had given on arrival was positive for EPO.[38] Two Kenyan officials were also sent home on doping points: coach John Anzrah impersonated runner Ferguson Rotich to give a doping control and Michael Rotich was

By Omar Mohammed

a person holding a football ball: FILE PHOTO: Diamond League - Monaco © Reuters/GONZALO FUENTES FILE PHOTO: Diamond League - Monaco

TOKYO (Reuters) - Kenya's Timothy Cheruiyot, a late addition to the Olympic team after initially failing to qualify, is sharpening his preparation as he looks to win gold at his first Games at Tokyo 2020, his coach said.

The reigning 1,500 metre world champion struggled at last month's Kenyan trials, which can sometimes be more competitive than the Olympics themselves.

He finished fourth, missing the cut to compete in Tokyo and conjuring memories of his failure to qualify for the Rio Olympics five years earlier.

Cheruiyot, 25, said later he had been grappling with an injury and a relative close to him had died the day of the Kenyan trials, factors that contributed to his sub-par performance.

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Kenya first participated at the Olympic Games in 1956, and has sent athletes to compete in every Summer Olympic Games since then, except for the boycotted 1976 and 1980 Games. Kenya participated in the Winter Olympic Games in 1998, 2002, 2006 and 2018.

Sundhage, for her part, now coaches Brazil, who Australia could meet in the quarter-finals; another historic collision-course forming before our eyes. Expectations for Tokyo, given all that has happened and continues to happen, will vary. But that is where the spirit of tournaments like the Olympics truly lives: for everything that can be gained from a study of history, there are still three matches that lay ahead in an unknowable future. That is the script the Matildas must now write for themselves.

His coach Bernard Ouma said people sometimes forget that athletes are human beings too.

"On a podium, people see athletes, others see machines that are running and have to be position one. At the back of my mind as a coach, I see a human being with social challenges as well, the family perspective and personal as well," he said.

Cheruiyot's Olympic dream was revived after Kamar Etyang, who finished second at the trials, was dropped from the team for not meeting World Athletics anti-doping testing requirements.


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Cheruiyot, a three-time Diamond League champion, was next man up.

"He has just been called to the team, that excitement is there," Ouma told Reuters.

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Who made Kenya ' s track and field team for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games in 2021? Timothy CHERUIYOT . Athletics . Tokyo 2020 | Olympic Games.

Kenya on Thursday withdrew a second athletics coach from the Rio Olympics in five days over a doping cheat bid. The International Olympic Committee (IOC) said it had launched disciplinary proceedings against the coach who media reports said had impersonated an athlete for a doping test. The Olympics athletics team manager Michael Rotich was ordered back to Kenya last weekend after a media investigation said he had demanded money to give warnings of looming doping tests.

Following the disappointment at the Kenyan trials, Cheruiyot bounced back impressively, winning the Diamond League meet in Stockholm. He followed that up with a terrific victory in Monaco, with a world-leading time of 3 minutes and 28.28 seconds.

"He is happy with the performances, what we are doing is sharpening now," Ouma said. "Championships are tough, because you've got the heats, semis and finals.

"So far, we are in good shape, just maintaining to take us through...Everything we are doing now is work backward towards retaining the same shape."

Cheruiyot is scheduled to arrive in Tokyo on July 30 as Team Kenya tries to manage preparations while factoring in Japan's sweltering heat.

On Wednesday, the country's weather bureau issued heat-stroke alerts for a fifth consecutive day, emphasising the challenge teams will face at the tournament.

"We are factoring in the effects of the weather conditions, some athletes will be arriving closer to their races," Ouma said in a phone interview from the Japanese city of Kurume, where Team Kenya has set-up camp.

But the goal is clear for Cheruiyot, Ouma said.

"There are three medals, everybody is fighting for the best place. So Timothy as well is looking for the best place, which is gold," he said.

(Reporting by Omar Mohammed; Editing by Lincoln Feast.)

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