Kenya did not win the 1,500m men title in Rio, Brazil, but with world champion Timothy Cheruiyot in the line up today, there is hope that the gold could be coming home.
It is also ironical that the man who Kenyans and most athletics fans across the world expect to win the 1,500m gold was not earlier included in Kenya’s team to the Tokyo Olympics after finishing fourth at the trials.
It had to take the withdrawal of youngster Kamar Etyang from Team Kenya after failing to meet anti-doping requirements for Cheruiyot to be named in the team to Tokyo.
That is now water under the bridge and the world champion has a battle in his hands today as he strives to win back the gold medal that Kenya last won in 2008 Olympics Beijing even though it was after the winner at the Bird’s Nest then had been stripped of the gold medal for doping.
After the semifinals on Thursday, Cheruiyot said he was ready for the battle ahead and will be hoping that he will strike gold.
Cheruiyot, though has good company in Team Kenya camp as youngster Abel Kipsang, showed he was also ready to win gold after running an Olympic record during the semi-finals.
In the other final of the day today, 5,000m silver medalist Hellen Obiri will be renewing her battle with the gold medalist over 5,000m Sifan Hassan in the longer 10,000m final.
After failing in her bid to win gold on Obiri had promised her showdown with Hassan was not over and she was ready to avenge that loss in the longer race.