The 34-year-old arrived in Nairobi on
Monday and confirmed her mission will change from track competition
to marathon. She has penciled the Newcastle half marathon next month
as her launchpad.
"It has been my dream and everyone knew that I was planning to
switch to the ultimate distance.
"It has been a successful journey for me in the track and I know
I will adjust comfortably to marathon," she said in Nairobi.
Cheruiyot, who is also the world champion in 10,000m, formed the
third batch of athletes coming back from Rio where Kenya claimed six
gold, six silver and one bronze medals.
Cheruiyot contributed the gold in 5,000m race and the silver in
Cheruiyot, who had won everything on the track except the Olympic
gold, was making her fourth appearance in the Games after Sydney
(2000), Beijing (2008) and London 2012.
It is a feat very few athletes have been able to attain so far.
RIO DE JANEIRO, (Xinhua) --
Gold medalist Kenya’s Vivian Jepkemoi Cheruiyot (L),
silver medalist Kenya’s Hellen Onsando Obiri attend the awarding
ceremony for the women’s 5,000m final of Athletics at the 2016
Rio Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, on Aug. 19, 2016.
XINHUA PHOTO: REN
She made history as the first Kenyan woman to win the 5,000m Olympic
title in an Olympic record time of 14:26.17.
Pauline Konga (1968) and Isabella Ochichi (2004) are the only
other Kenyans to have won a medal in the event at the Olympic stage,
a silver medal.
But Cheruiyot had a message to the coaches as she exits the track
"They need to come up with better strategy, plan and focus on how
to counter the challenge.
"It will get tougher by the day, but Kenya
has always a new talent coming, who can fill up the void.
"There is also the challenge of other countries preying on our
athletes when they are still young, I hope the coaches will seek
away to stop it.
"We need our best talent here to carry on the national flag at
international competitions," she said.
After losing the 10,000m battle to Ethiopian Alamaz Ayana who set
a new world record of 29:17.45 on Aug. 12, Cheruiyot got her revenge
in 5,000m obliterating the Ethiopian world 5,000m champion.
Kenyan Hellen Obiri settled for silver in 14:29.77 with Ayana taking
the bronze in 14:33.59.
"I have been patient and the results are good.
"As I bow out, I
have my head help high.
"I need a new challenge and I believe I will
be good to move to marathon.
"But I may still run the 10,000m race at the London 2017, but
that depends on my transition.
The marathon race in London would be appealing," she added.
For the time being, a good rest with her son will be enough as
she reflects on the challenge ahead.