Vivian Cheruiyot: Celebrating 20 Years in the Top Flight
Vivian has gone to social media to celebrate her 20 year stint in top flight athletics. Her Stellar Performances have made her an athlete of renown over the decades
Vivian Cheruiyot is a household name in Kenyan athletics. It is undebatable that the queen and police inspector from the home of champions is loved by many, thanks to her athletic prowess that has made the heart of Kenyans rejoice with her achievements in athletics. She has made Kenya Proud.
We may know that Cheruiyot has been on the track for years, beginning from 3,000m, 5,000m, 10,000m and her latest Marathon participation, and she has shown her competence in all of them. However, the 2016 Rio Olympics 5000m Gold medallist and 10,000m silver medallist recounts a 20-year journey in the top flight this week, and her accolades seem to back up her story. The story is legendary.
Yesterday, Thursday, May 17, she posted a message on her Instagram account, recounting her 20 years in athletics, that began in 1998 at the IAAF World Junior Cross Country Championships in Marrakech, where she finished 5th. She wrote "I have been competing internationally in athletics for 20 years. My first major event was the 1998 IAAF World Junior Cross Country Championships in Marrakech and my most recent was the 2018 London Marathon..." She went ahead to say that she would be celebrating the 20 years with a photo post a day beginning with her very first victory from the 1999 IAAF World Junior Cross Country Championships in Belfast.
Just Who is Vivian Cheruiyot?
Well, this is not a question to be asked, but the answer will be given anyway.
She is a 34-year-old Kenyan long distance athlete born on September 11, 1983, in Keiyo, Rift Valley, Kenya. She is 89lbs and 5 ft 3" with a speciality in track and cross country. Vivian Jepkemoi Cheruiyot as her full name goes is the current 5000m Olympic Champion and 10,000m Olympic Silver medallist.
Her top-flight career begun in 1998 but she began enjoying breakthroughs in 1999 at the age of 15 where she participated in the 1999 IAAF World Cross Country Championships coming in second to win her first medal (silver) behind Werknesh Kidane. She went ahead to win a bronze medal in 3000m the same year at the World Youth Championships. She earned a senior call-up during the 1999 All-Africa games where she grabbed a bronze medal in the 5,000m race and also became a junior champion at the 2000 IAAF World Cross Country Championships. She won her first Global title at the IAAF World Junior Cross Country Championships in Algarve in 2000.
From then on Vivian Cheruiyot's star was on a steady rise. She recorded stellar performances, setting personal best times in the top flight including the selection she earned for the 2000 Olympic games where she reached the 5000 finals though she was the last runner to finish. The 2007 World Championships in Osaka was the place where the mature Cheruiyot showed his mettle and grit. During this event, she came in second to veteran Ethiopian Meseret Defar where he set her new personal best at 14:47.91.
She went on to break a number of records including the Kenyan 3000m indoor record in Birmingham. Other notable victories during that year include the World's Best 10K race in Puerto Rico and the Great Manchester Run 10K race. From there, she bagged the 5000m women at the World Championships in Berlin (14:58.33). She eventually closed the 2009 stellar track season with a 3000 m silver and a 5000 m bronze medal at the 2009 IAAF World Athletics Final and the 2009 New Year's Eve San Silvestre Vallecana race.
Her second decade in the top flight has been the most successful. This season has seen a more mature and calmer Cheruiyot smashing records and bagging floods of medals. The decade has also seen her participate in Marathon races, the latest being the London Marathon. Most notable of the races in this second decade are her first victory over her bitter rival from Ethiopia Meseret Defar and winning the Inaugural Diamond League Trophy in 2010 on overall points after taking victories in the 5000m at the Meeting Areva and Memorial van Damme.
Her tenacity on the track has also seen her taking home the 2018 London Marathon (2:18.31)
Vivian Cheruiyot's 20-year Career in Summary (from the latest to the earliest)
2018 London Marathon Champion
2017 Frankfurt Marathon Champion
2016 Olympic Games 5000m Champion
2016 Olympic Games 10,000m Silver
2015 World 10,000m Champion
2012 Olympic Games 5000m Silver
2012 Olympic Games 10,000m Bronze
2012 Laureus World Sportswoman of the Year
2011 World 5000m and10,000m Champion
2011 World Cross Country Champion
2010: African 5000m Champion
2010: Commonwealth 5000m Champion
IAAF Diamond League 5000m DIAMOND WINNER
African T and F Championships 5000m GOLD
IAAF World Indoor T and F Championships 3000m GOLD
2009: IAAF World T and F Championships 5000m GOLD
2008: Olympic Games 5000m 5TH
2007: IAAF World T and F Championships 5000m SILVER
2002: IAAF World Junior T and F Championships 5000m BRONZE
IAAF World Junior Cross Country Championships BRONZE
2001: African T and F Championships 5000m GOLD
2000: IAAF World Junior Cross Country Championships GOLD
1999: IAAF World Junior Cross Country Championships SILVER
Events and Personal Best Times
3000m 8:28.66 [Stuttgart 2007]
3000m 8:30.53 [Birmingham 2009]
5000m 14:20.87 [Stockholm 2011]
10,000m 29:32.53 [Rio 2016]
10K Road 31:07 [San Juan 2010]
Half Marathon 67:44 [GNR 2017]
Marathon 2:18.31 [London 2018]