Sprinter Joan Cherono is among athletes currently in residential training at Moi International Sports Centre, Kasarani preparing for the Tokyo Olympics Games as a way of protecting them from coronavirus which has adversely affected sports the world over.
Cherono, who specialises in 400m, 4x200m, 4x400m and 4x100m races, has a reason to smile after shifting her training base from Nakuru – where she had challenges in terms of facilities – to Nairobi.
She is working hard to attain the qualification mark in the 400m race and join Hellen Syombua who has already qualified for Olympics.
Cherono told Nation Sport that she will be participating in the two-day Athletics Kenya weekend meeting at Kasarani which will also serve as a mini-trial for athletes to be invited for AK trials for World Relays scheduled for March 26-27.
AK will use the March 26-27 trials to select athletes who will represent the country at the World Relays to be held in Silesia, Poland on May 1-2.
“My preparations have been going on well and I’m happy because we have been given an opportunity to train at Kasarani which is good for sprinters. I will be using the weekend meet to improve on my speed and part of my buildup for the World Relays trials.
“It feels nice to see athletics resume after a long period due to the coronavirus which stopped our lives,” Cherono told Nation Sport.
Like many other sprinters, she has had her fair share of challenges in terms of training where she is forced to juggle between Menengai Forest in Nakuru and Kabarak University for her speed sessions due to lack of a good track.
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“It has been a challenge training in Nakuru and I’m happy because camping at Kasarani will help me improve on my performance. I have been training at Menengai Forest or Kabarak University because Afraha Stadium was closed for renovation hence affecting my programme,” added Cherono who is a law enforcer under Directorate of Criminal Investigation.
She also revealed that they have qualified for the 4x200m for the World Relays alongside her teammates Monica Zephaniah, Maximilla Emali, Doreen Wanga and Veronica Mutua.
“We have qualified for the 4x200m which is open but I also feel as an individual I need to qualify for the Olympics Games in the 400m race which is strong in terms of medal category,” said Cherono who has a personal best of 52:80 in 400m race.
She is eyeing the World Relays before heading to the Africa Senior Championships in Algeria and hopefully the Tokyo Olympics.
Her coach Peninah Talam has tipped Cherono to improve on her personal best and believes participating in the weekend meets will help gauge her performance.
“We have done good training and the two weekend meets will help us know where to rectify as we focus on the Olympics Games,” said Talam on phone from Nakuru.
The weekend meet will see athletes who are eyeing a place in the Africa Senior Championships feature ahead of the World Relays trials.