Cherono longs to keep form ahead of Olympic Games
Lawrence Cherono, of Kenya, holds the trophy after winning the 123rd Boston Marathon, on Monday, April 15, 2019. [AP]

He is the reigning Boston and Chicago marathons winner

After failed attempts in marathon, he tried his hand in business and operated a posho mill in Eldoret.

Pride swelled in his heart and tears of joy welled in his eyes when Athletics Kenya named him in men’s marathon squad to Tokyo Olympic Games.

Lawrence Cherono, the Boston and Chicago marathons winner, had seen his childhood dream come true. He was over the moon. But it was dashed by the spread of coronavirus.

He had tried several times unsuccessfully to make the national team and thought the Olympic Games would serve as a perfect ground to represent the country.

“Since turning professional in 2016, I have always longed to compete at the Olympic Games. I can imagine walking along the track during the opening ceremony at the Olympic Games or World Athletics Championships. I was surprised when Athletics Kenyan named me into the Olympics team,” he said.

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Cherono, 31, was named alongside Olympic Games marathon defending champion and world marathon record holder Eliud Kipchoge and World Championships marathon bronze medalist Amos Kipruto.

Former world half marathon silver medalist Bedan Karoki and African Games half marathon winner Titus Ekiru were on the reserve list.

Cherono is worried after the postponement of Tokyo 2020 Games due to Covid-19 as he has to shelve his lofty dreams to next year.

“The world has come to a standstill. It is frustrating but it’s something beyond our control. I have to wait for another year to realise my dream to represent the country,” said Cherono. 

Born in Barwesa, Baringo County, Cherono tried to make a breakthrough in marathon several times but failed to almost a point of losing hope. He tried his hand in business and operated a posho mill in Eldoret. 

“I started running while at Poror High School in Eldama Ravine.  I wasn’t the best to be honest but I had faith that one day I will do well.

“At some point, I thought of quitting the sport and even operated a posho mill in Eldoret. I made a second thought and opted to try again and I picked on well,” he said.

He started posting good shows, finishing second in Algiers in 2014 before victory at Seville marathon that year. 

He won Prague Marathon in 2:07:24  in 2015 and went ahead to win Honolulu Marathon in 2:09:39.

Cherono finished second at the 2017 Rotterdam Marathon in the personal of 2:06:21 before winning Amsterdam Marathon in 2:05:09. He went back to Honolulu Marathon and defended his title in a course record of 2:08:27.

“Self-discipline and hard work has kept me going. I cover 150km every week. So, winning doesn’t come easy,” said Cherono.

The sixth born in a family of seven has set his eyes at the Boston Marathon on September 14. “Coronavirus has slowed down sporting events and everything down but I am still training with the hope of defending my title at Boston Marathon in September,” he said.

Meanwhile the Nairobi leg of 2020 World Athletics Continental Tour will be held on September 26, World Athletics (WA) made the announcement yesterday.

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