Vivian Jepkemoi CHERUIYOT

Athlete Profile

    Kenya Kenya
    11 SEP 1983
10,000m winner Vivian Cheruiyot at the IAAF World Championships, Beijing 2015 (Getty Images)


Discipline Performance Wind Place Date Records
1500 Metres 4:06.6h Nairobi (KEN) 18 MAY 2012
2000 Metres 5:31.52 Eugene, OR (USA) 07 JUN 2009
3000 Metres 8:28.66 Stuttgart (GER) 23 SEP 2007
5000 Metres 14:20.87 Stockholm (SWE) 29 JUL 2011
10,000 Metres 29:32.53 Rio de Janeiro (BRA) 12 AUG 2016
5 Kilometres 15:53 Bolzano (ITA) 31 DEC 2010
10 Kilometres 30:47 San Juan (PUR) 26 FEB 2012
12 Kilometres 38:22 Cape Town (RSA) 17 MAY 2015
10 Miles Road 51:17 Portsmouth (GBR) 25 OCT 2015
Half Marathon 1:09:44 Lisboa (POR) 19 MAR 2017
Half Marathon 1:07:44 * South Shields (GBR) 10 SEP 2017
Marathon 2:18:31 London (GBR) 22 APR 2018


* Not legal.


Discipline Performance Wind Place Date Records
3000 Metres 8:30.53 Birmingham (GBR) 21 FEB 2009
Two Miles 9:12.35 Birmingham (GBR) 20 FEB 2010


* Not legal.


Discipline Performance Wind Place Date Records
Marathon 2:18:31 London (GBR) 22 APR 2018


1500 Metres

Performance Place Date
2015 4:09.88 Nairobi (KEN) 11 JUL 2015
2009 4:07.41 Doha (QAT) 08 MAY 2009
2008 4:16.36 Vila Real de Santo António (POR) 25 MAY 2008
2007 4:06.65 Doha (QAT) 11 MAY 2007
2001 4:27.35 Keiyo (KEN) 01 JUN 2001


2000 Metres

Performance Place Date
2009 5:31.52 Eugene, OR (USA) 07 JUN 2009


3000 Metres

Performance Place Date
2016 8:31.86 Doha (QAT) 06 MAY 2016
2015 8:38.91 Zürich (SUI) 03 SEP 2015
2012 8:41.22 Birmingham (GBR) 26 AUG 2012
2010 8:34.58 Lausanne (SUI) 08 JUL 2010
2009 8:30.61 Thessaloniki (GRE) 13 SEP 2009
2008 8:33.66 Gateshead (GBR) 31 AUG 2008
2007 8:28.66 Stuttgart (GER) 23 SEP 2007
2006 8:38.86 Stuttgart (GER) 10 SEP 2006
2002 9:21.94 Linz (AUT) 19 AUG 2002
1999 9:04.42 Bydgoszcz (POL) 17 JUL 1999


5000 Metres

Performance Place Date
2016 14:26.17 Rio de Janeiro (BRA) 19 AUG 2016
2015 14:46.69 Eugene, OR (USA) 30 MAY 2015
2012 14:35.62 Roma (ITA) 31 MAY 2012
2011 14:20.87 Stockholm (SWE) 29 JUL 2011
2010 14:27.41 Paris-St-Denis (FRA) 16 JUL 2010
2009 14:37.01 Oslo (NOR) 03 JUL 2009
2008 14:25.43 Bruxelles (BEL) 05 SEP 2008
2007 14:22.51 Oslo (NOR) 15 JUN 2007
2006 14:47.43 Bruxelles (BEL) 25 AUG 2006
2004 15:13.26 Sevilla (ESP) 05 JUN 2004
2002 15:56.04 Kingston (JAM) 21 JUL 2002
2001 16:19.54 Réduit (MRI) 19 AUG 2001
2000 15:11.11 Sydney (AUS) 22 SEP 2000
1999 15:42.79 Johannesburg (RSA) 15 SEP 1999


5 Kilometres

Performance Place Date
2011 16:03 Bolzano (ITA) 31 DEC 2011
2010 15:53 Bolzano (ITA) 31 DEC 2010


10,000 Metres

Performance Place Date
2016 29:32.53 Rio de Janeiro (BRA) 12 AUG 2016
2015 31:13.29 Bruxelles (BEL) 05 JUL 2015
2012 30:30.44 London (GBR) 03 AUG 2012
2011 30:48.98 Daegu (KOR) 27 AUG 2011


10 Kilometres

Performance Place Date
2015 33:23 San Juan (PUR) 01 MAR 2015
2012 30:47 San Juan (PUR) 26 FEB 2012
2010 31:07 San Juan (PUR) 28 FEB 2010
2009 31:12 San Juan (PUR) 01 MAR 2009
2008 31:32 Glasgow (GBR) 18 MAY 2008
2007 32:08 Glasgow (GBR) 13 MAY 2007
2006 32:26 Glasgow (GBR) 21 MAY 2006
2003 33:18 Lisboa (POR) 31 DEC 2003


12 Kilometres

Performance Place Date
2015 38:22 Cape Town (RSA) 17 MAY 2015


Half Marathon

Performance Place Date
2017 1:09:44 Lisboa (POR) 19 MAR 2017



Performance Place Date
2018 2:18:31 London (GBR) 22 APR 2018
2017 2:23:35 Frankfurt (GER) 29 OCT 2017
2003 2:41:09 Vitoria (ESP) 13 APR 2003


10 Miles Road

Performance Place Date
2015 51:17 Portsmouth (GBR) 25 OCT 2015


3000 Metres

Performance Place Date
2009/10 8:51.85 Doha (QAT) 13 MAR 2010
2008/09 8:30.53 Birmingham (GBR) 21 FEB 2009


Two Miles

Performance Place Date
2009/10 9:12.35 Birmingham (GBR) 20 FEB 2010

Honours - Olympic Games

Place Discipline Mark Wind Place Date
1. 5000 Metres 14:26.17 Rio de Janeiro (BRA) 19 AUG 2016
2. 10,000 Metres 29:32.53 Rio de Janeiro (BRA) 12 AUG 2016
2. 5000 Metres 15:04.73 London (GBR) 10 AUG 2012
3. 10,000 Metres 30:30.44 London (GBR) 03 AUG 2012
4. 5000 Metres 15:46.32 Beijing (CHN) 22 AUG 2008

Honours - World Championships

Place Discipline Mark Wind Place Date
1. 10,000 Metres 31:41.31 Beijing (CHN) 24 AUG 2015
1. 5000 Metres 14:55.36 Daegu (KOR) 02 SEP 2011
1. 10,000 Metres 30:48.98 Daegu (KOR) 27 AUG 2011
1. 5000 Metres 14:57.97 Berlin (GER) 22 AUG 2009
2. 5000 Metres 14:58.50 Osaka (JPN) 01 SEP 2007

Honours - World Indoor Championships

Place Discipline Mark Wind Place Date
2. 3000 Metres 8:51.85 Doha (QAT) 13 MAR 2010

Honours - World Cross Country Championships

Place Discipline Mark Wind Place Date
1. Senior Race 24:58 Punta Umbria (ESP) 20 MAR 2011
4. U20 Race 22:06 Ostende (BEL) 24 MAR 2001
8. Senior Race 28:10 Mombasa (KEN) 24 MAR 2007
8. Short Race 13:10 Fukuoka (JPN) 02 APR 2006
8. Short Race 13:23 Bruxelles (BEL) 21 MAR 2004

Honours - World (Continental) Cup

Place Discipline Mark Wind Place Date
1. 5000 Metres 16:05.74 Split (CRO) 05 SEP 2010

Honours - World U20 Championships

Place Discipline Mark Wind Place Date
3. 5000 Metres 15:56.04 Kingston (JAM) 21 JUL 2002

Honours - World U18 Championships

Place Discipline Mark Wind Place Date
3. 3000 Metres 9:04.42 Bydgoszcz (POL) 17 JUL 1999

Honours - African Championships

Place Discipline Mark Wind Place Date
1. 5000 Metres 16:18.72 Nairobi (KEN) 29 JUL 2010

Honours - All-African Games

Place Discipline Mark Wind Place Date
3. 5000 Metres 15:42.79 Johannesburg (RSA) 15 SEP 1999

Honours - Diamond League

Place Discipline Mark Wind Place Date
1. 5000 Metres 15:12.79 Birmingham (GBR) 05 JUN 2016
1. 5000 Metres 14:46.01 Bruxelles (BEL) 07 SEP 2012
1. 5000 Metres 14:48.86 London (GBR) 13 JUL 2012
1. 5000 Metres 14:35.62 Roma (ITA) 31 MAY 2012
1. 3000 Metres 8:46.44 Doha (QAT) 11 MAY 2012
1. 5000 Metres 14:30.10 Zürich (SUI) 08 SEP 2011
1. 5000 Metres 14:20.87 Stockholm (SWE) 29 JUL 2011
1. 5000 Metres 14:33.96 Eugene, OR (USA) 03 JUN 2011
1. 5000 Metres 14:31.92 Shanghai (CHN) 15 MAY 2011
1. 5000 Metres 14:34.13 Bruxelles (BEL) 27 AUG 2010
1. 5000 Metres 14:27.41 Paris-St-Denis (FRA) 16 JUL 2010
1. 3000 Metres 8:34.58 Lausanne (SUI) 08 JUL 2010

Honours - World Athletics Final

Place Discipline Mark Wind Place Date
1. 5000 Metres 14:56.94 Stuttgart (GER) 22 SEP 2007
2. 3000 Metres 8:30.61 Thessaloniki (GRE) 13 SEP 2009
2. 3000 Metres 8:44.64 Stuttgart (GER) 14 SEP 2008
2. 5000 Metres 14:54.60 Stuttgart (GER) 13 SEP 2008
2. 3000 Metres 8:28.66 Stuttgart (GER) 23 SEP 2007
3. 5000 Metres 15:26.21 Thessaloniki (GRE) 12 SEP 2009
3. 3000 Metres 8:38.86 Stuttgart (GER) 10 SEP 2006
5. 5000 Metres 16:07.95 Stuttgart (GER) 09 SEP 2006

Honours - Golden League

Place Discipline Mark Wind Place Date
1. 5000 Metres 14:25.43 Bruxelles (BEL) 05 SEP 2008
1. 5000 Metres 14:50.78 Berlin (GER) 16 SEP 2007

Honours - Commonwealth Games

Place Discipline Mark Wind Place Date
1. 5000 Metres 15:55.12 New Delhi (IND) 12 OCT 2010

Honours - African U20 Championships

Place Discipline Mark Wind Place Date
1. 5000 Metres 16:19.54 Réduit (MRI) 19 AUG 2001

Honours - National Championships

Place Discipline Mark Wind Place Date
1. 10,000 Metres 32:24.52 Nairobi (KEN) 15 JUN 2012
1. 10,000 Metres 31:55.8h Nairobi (KEN) 15 JUL 2011
1. 5000 Metres 15:31.39 Nairobi (KEN) 26 JUN 2010
1. 1500 Metres 4:07.66 Nairobi (KEN) 27 JUN 2009
1. 5000 Metres 15:54.6h Nairobi (KEN) 26 JUN 1999
Results in:


Date Competition Cnt. Cat Race Pl. Result
22 APR 2018 London Marathon GBRGBR GL F 1. 2:18:31

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Updated 20 August 2016


Vivian CHERUIYOT (OGW), Kenya (3000m, 5000m, 10,000m Cross Country)


Born 11 September 1983, Logosho, Kaptarakwa, Keiyo District, Rift Valley

Height: 155 cm

Weight: 38 kg

Camp: Pace Management, Kaptagat

Manager: Ricky Simms

Residence: Kaptagat


The term ‘Pocket Rocket’ has been coined to describe this petite runner who is the most decorated Kenyan female athlete in history.

The honours list for Vivian Cheruiyot includes four World titles on the track (two each in 5000m and 10,000m), senior and junior World Cross Country crowns, Commonwealth 5,000m and African 5,000m gold medals since 1998, when she first competed for her nation.


Career birth

Her given name, Cheruiyot means ‘one born during bedtime’ in her native dialect and it is therefore, telling she has given most of her competition sleepless nights.

While still at Chemwabul Primary School in Keiyo, Cheruiyot who weighs in at 38kg when in competition, started taking athletics seriously in 1996 while still in Standard Four (fourth year) competing at school competitions. “I noticed I had talent to run,” she said. “I found motivation within myself to do it.”


The following year, Cheruiyot’s brimming talent was discovered by veteran coach David Maiyo, who took her under his care, entering her in the national trials, in Nairobi, for the 1997 World Cross Country Championships. “When I went there, I won and was in the national team’s camp in Kigali (Embu, 130km from Nairobi),” she said. “However, I was dropped from the team for being under age.”


In 1998, Cheruiyot had to repeat Standard 5 but most importantly, it was the year she broke into the junior ranks of the national team and made her international debut, finishing fifth in the junior women’s race at the World Cross, in Marrakech.

Still a primary school pupil, Cheruiyot again made the national team for the World Cross Country the following year, 1999, this time in Belfast, where she took junior silver. Then, at the All Africa Games, in Johannesburg in June, she gained her first major track honour, bronze in the 5000m. That was after she had topped the national track and field championships.


Early 2000s

In 2000, the schoolgirl was crowned World Cross Country junior champion in Vilamoura, Portugal, before taking silver on the track in Kenya’s Championships to qualify for the Sydney Olympics.

“I finished 14th in the 5000m race in Sydney but I was proud of my performance since the Olympics are so huge,” she recalled.


In 2001, her final primary school year, Cheruiyot failed to hold on to her World Cross Country title in Ostend, finishing fifth, but more than made up for it by winning the African Junior 5000m title in Réduit, Mauritius.

Cheruiyot enrolled at Sing’ore Girls’ High School, an institution famed for its athletics prowess, for her secondary education in 2002.

As a first year student at Sing’ore (the same school that produced Sylvia Kibet) Cheruiyot won junior women’s bronze at the World Cross in Dublin. She was then crowned Kenya’s 5000m junior champion (15:49.7), earning her a berth in the national team for the World Junior Championships in Kingston, Jamaica. There she clocked 15:56.04 for bronze.

During the school holidays, Cheruiyot featured in two European races, in the Asics meeting in Helsinki, where she finished 10th in the 3000m (9:28.44) and at the Raiffeisen meeting in Germany, where she also finished 10th (9:21.94).


In the 2003 national trials, she finished fifth at 5000m, missing the cut for the World Championships in Paris and the All Africa Games in Abuja.


In 2004, Cheruiyot finished sixth at the National Championships to qualify for the World Cross Country in Brussels, where she finished eighth at 4km. But she failed to make it into the team for the Athens Olympics, finishing fourth in the 5000m trial (15:54.59).


In 2005, Cheruiyot opted to take a sabbatical to finish her final secondary school year (Form 4) at Sing’ore, having missed out on the World Cross Country for the second time in a row since she made her debut in 1998. “I took part only in the National Cross Country Championships where I finished 10th (4km) and did not make the team,” she said.


In 2006, having finished fourth in the 5000m trials for the Commonwealth Games in Melbourne, thus failing to make the team, Cheruiyot then focused on the cross country, taking sixth place in the senior women’s 4km short course trials to return to the Kenyan World Cross Country team, in Fukuoka, Japan, placing eighth in the world event.


In the summer season, Cheruiyot made her debut on the Golden League circuit, with two fifth places in Zurich (14:52.10) and Brussels (14:47.43). In the World Athletics Final, in Stuttgart, she was third in the 3000m and fifth in the 5000m.

Qualifying fourth through the trials at Ngong Racecourse, Nairobi, Cheruiyot went to finish eighth in the senior women’s 8km at the 2007 World Cross Country in Mombasa.

She then clinched the 1500/3000m double at the European Champion Clubs Cup, in Albufiera in May before clocking her 5000m seasonal best (14:22.51) in Oslo on 15 June.

Cheruiyot returned to Kenya, winning the national 5000m trial for the World Championships in Osaka.  In the world final in Japan, she chased gold medallist Defar all the way, taking silver (14:58.50).

“That is the time I realised that I can get close to the Ethiopians. It gave me the belief that next time, our turn will come and when I returned home, I discussed with my husband and coach on how to develop a strong kick while remaining good in lapping,” she remarked.


In her second IAAF World Athletics Final appearance, Cheruiyot first took the 5000m title (14:56.94) before earning second place at 3000m (8:28.66).


In 2008, Cheruiyot could only finish fourth at the trials but was given a wild card for the Kenyan team to the Olympic Games. Featuring in her second Olympics, she made the final but came fifth (15:46.32).

She responded to that disappointment with a seasonal best time of 14:25.43 while winning in Brussels. At the World Athletics Final in Stuttgart, she came in second in both 3,000 and 5,000m clocking 8:44.64 and 14:54.60 respectively.

Cheruiyot decided to skip the World Cross Country Championships in 2009, opting instead to give indoors a try. She registered a couple of victories in 3,000 metres, first in Valencia (8:42.13) and then set a national record in Birmingham (8:30.53) on 1 February.

A third place finish at Golden Spike meeting in Ostrava (14:38.26) in June and a season best in Oslo (14:37.01) prepared her for the national trials.


Despite having only six athletes, the 12 and a half-lap race proved to be a thrilling spectacle as Cheruiyot and Sylvia Kibet fought hard for victory. The final lap had spectators on their feet as Cheruiyot put on the afterburners to power past Kibet in the very last few metres and win in 15:25.21.

“This was where we tested the new tactic, to run consistently but fast in the laps then use a strong kick in the finish. I was happy that Sylvia kept close since we had been working together on how to beat the Ethiopians in their own game and after this, we were sure we would get them,” she now discloses.


In the Berlin final on 22 August, Cheruiyot, who had only beaten Defar once (Brussels, September 2008) in their previous 11 meetings, stunned the equally diminutive Ethiopian with a 14:57.97 run characterised by an explosive finishing kick in the last 200m after she went outside of the Osaka champion who had taken the inner lane. A shocked Defar settled for bronze after Cheruiyot’s team mate, Kibet, stole in for silver at the line.

"I realised she always waited until the last 400m to kick past me and win. This time, I trained for speed especially in the last 200m. I was content at the back until the last 200m and beating her so close to the line as she had done in Osaka was the best moment in my life," Cheruiyot said after lifting the Defar ‘monkey’ off her back. 

Silver (3,000m/8:30.61) and bronze (5,000m/15:26.21) at the World Athletics Final in Thessaloniki, Greece in September added to the medal basket of the freshly minted World champion.


Cheruiyot began her 2010 season by focusing on indoor running, stating a World record attempt over 3,000m and rarely competed Two Miles were in the offing.

Her chance in the former presented itself at the Doha World Indoors, after being named alongside Kibet as her country’s representatives in the 3,000m women’s race.

At the Aviva Grand Prix in Birmingham, Cheruiyot set a national record in the Two Mile when she ran 9:12.35, passing through 3,000m in 8:41.0 although she and double Olympic champion Tirunesh Dibaba who won failed to break Defar’s World record of 9:06.26.   


At the World Indoors, Cheruiyot would line up against Ethiopia’s Defar in a rematch of the Berlin 5000m final. But try as she might, Cheruiyot could not reproduce her German heroics finishing behind Defar to clinch silver in 8:51.85.


On June 26, Cheruiyot effortlessly won the 5000m race at the National Championships on June 26 in 15:31.39 to make the team for the African Athletics Championships.

Then a week later, she clocked a world leading time in 3000 metres in Lausanne as she beat her bitter rival Defar to win in 8:34.58. A blistering win at the Paris Diamond League meet on July 16 further underlined her form as she set another world leading time of 14:27.41.

When the gun went, signalling the start of the 5000 metres race at the Nyayo National Stadium during the African Athletics Championships, all eyes were trained on Cheruiyot and her Ethiopian nemesis.


After a slow start, Cheruiyot moved to the front at the bell then powered away from Defar for a most comprehensive of wins in 16:18.72.

“The race was slow because there are no pacemakers in the championships, so I decided to stay with the rest till the last few laps, then I pushed to the very end because I really wanted to win at home,” she said adding, "I’m pleased to be beat Defar as she has been a strong champion, somebody who could not be beaten, but I believe not unbeatable now."

"Congratulations to Vivian, she ran a great race particularly in the final lap," said a gracious Defar, after losing to her rival for the third time in a year.


A trophy and a 40,000 dollar cheque for her exploits in the Diamond League was followed by IAAF Continental Cup in Split on 5 September where Cheruiyot returned 16:05.74 to give Team Africa gold in the women’s 5000m.

Not done, she checked in three days before her race at the October Delhi Commonwealth Games and delivered a 15:55.12 performance to lead team mates Kibet (15:55.61) and Iness Chenonge (16:02.47) to a clean medal sweep, capping a memorable year.


2011 - The Explosion

As everyone set about ushering the New Year, Cheruiyot divided opinions when she declared, “I will go for the 5,000m and 10,000m double in the Daegu World Championships.”

That opened up another pitch rivalry, this time with compatriot Linet Masai who was at the time, the world champion in the longer distance.


At the Punta Umbria World Cross in Spain on 20 March, Cheruiyot sounded the warning when she deployed the afterburners in a 6:03 blast in the last two kilometres to quash Masai and the rest of the field for her first World Cross senior title.

“Her closing 2km circuit was faster than some of the British men managed on the same course that day,” the BBC website wrote.

“I feel so great after returning to the World Cross for the first time in four years and to win gold, fantastic. I was just aiming for any medal but now that I have gold, I’m so happy. This is a good preparation for the World Championships where I’m defending the title and winning here will give me great morale.”

“I feel very happy, because I had been eighth three times. I hope to defend my title in the next championship. I’m very happy about Masai because we are friends outside the competitions and we also train together.”


Her next appearance was a winning dream 10,000m debut of 31:07.02 in Pontevedra on 2 April.

Cheruiyot returned home for the World Championships Trials (15 July /31:55.8) where she lined up in the 10,000m field where once again, her rocket finish proved to be far superior to Sally Kipyego and Priscah Jepleting who shared the podium.


At the end of July, the national 5,000m record fell as Cheruiyot romped around the Stockholm track almost unchallenged in a world leading 14:20.87.

On the first track final of the World Championships programme in Daegu on Aug 27, Cheruiyot led her country to the improbable 1-2-3-4 finish in the women 10,000m in 30:48.98.

“When I won 10,000m, I felt happiness I had never experienced before since it was not my event. It felt as if something new had opened for me and I felt so easy running, at no point did I feel the distance was long.”


Six days later, she took to the Daegu Stadium track for her more familiar 5,000m and the outcome was the same, a scarcely believable 58.6 last-lap doing the trick as once again, Kibet played her bridesmaid.

“We had planned to work as a team but I knew I was strong enough to deliver what I promised Kenyans. Now, I’m so happy, so excited, the best I have ever felt and I thank God, my husband and all Kenyans for the support and I dedicate this to them,” Cheruiyot.


After Daegu, a routine victory in the Diamond League Final in Zurich (8 September /14:30.10) confirmed her defence of the Diamond Trophy and the $40,000 jackpot in the women 3000m/5000m for the second year running to cap the most stellar season in her career.


Monaco disappointment

Following an unbeaten campaign and three World titles, Cheruiyot’s name featured prominently in the annual IAAF World Gala awards list where as expected, she made the final-three shortlist in the Female Athlete of the Year Award.

However, fellow Daegu champion, Sally Pearson, got the nod for the top award, with Cheruiyot feted with the Female Performance of the Year recognition in a decision that was received with uproar back home.

“I was so disappointed and I kept asking why they did this to me since when I went there, I automatically knew, I would be the world athlete of the year,” she said.


Olympics disappointment

For Cheruiyot, 2012 was all about clinching a first Olympics gold medal with the double to boot, announcing early in the season she would settle for nothing less than the 5,000m and 10,000m titles.

However, Tirunesh Dibaba defended her 10,000m Olympics title in fine style, shifting through the gears to destroy Cheruiyot with a crushing display that ended with the third best mark of all-time (30:20.75) with the second Kenyan in the race, Kipyego (30:26.37) finding the legs to overhaul the fading Cheruiyot for silver as she closed the podium in 30:30.44, a personal best being scant consolation.

A week later, Tirunesh played rabbit to Meseret Defar, leading the field until after the bell with Cheruiyot keeping close attention, until 300m from the finish when her Ethiopian countrywoman sped past her, followed by Cheruiyot who took silver in 15:04.73 to 15:04.25 for her long time rival.


Coming of Allan, return

From the ruins of her shattered Olympics dream, Cheruiyot, who is happily married to Moses Kiplagat, a former runner who is her personal coach, decided now was the time to try for her first child.

“I sat down with my husband and manager and we made a plan to have a baby and then be back at full fitness in time for the 2016 Olympic Games.”


Allan Kiprono Kiplagat was welcomed in October 2013.

The couple lives in Kaptagat with interests in real estate, farming and transport businesses in Eldoret, Nairobi.

“I love my husband since he understands what I need to be successful. He helps me in training and is always there for me at home. We wake up together at 5am for training and when we are done, he then takes care of our businesses, leaving me to focus on my career.”

“When we are at home, she plays the wife. We leave matters to do with the sport outside and to be with such a famous wife, it means you must be prepared to be her support since many are out to mislead such talent. My work is to make her remain focused,” says Kiplagat.


Having returned to training in June 2014, Cheruiyot and her husband made the decision to skip the cross country season and instead focus on making the national team for the longer event in Beijing the following year.


She started her 2015 international outdoor track season with a 14:46.69 timing in 5000m Eugene in June before a fast 10,000m (31:13.29) in Brussels showed her readiness before winning the Kenyan trials in 32:58.4 on 31 July.

Cheruiyot lined up at the Bird’s nest and with a nagging Achilles tendon injury. She therefore played safe, staying tucked in behind the leaders until the final lap, where she powered away to win her fourth World track title in 31:41.31.


Her 2016 season started with 8:31.86 (3,000m) in Doha in May, before timing 14:35.69 in Eugene.

At the Olympic Trials held in Eldoret, she breezed to a 10,000 metres win in 31:36.37. The following day she won the 5000m race as well and afterwards confirmed that she would go for the double in Rio.


Honours and citation

Besides a medal and trophy cabinet that is bursting at the seams, Cheruiyot was conferred the Order of Grand Warrior (OGW) State honour by the country’s President, Dr. Mwai Kibaki, to mark the nation’s 46th  birthday on 12 December 2009.

She has since been promoted to the rank of Inspector at Kenya Police Force where she serves and on 3 January 2012, she was named the Female Athlete of the Year by US Track and Field Magazine, before being decorated as Laureus Female Athlete of the Year on 7 February.


Personal Bests

1500m: 4:06.6hA (2012)

3000m: 8:28.66 (2007)

5000m: 14:20.87 (2011)

10,000m: 30:30.44 (2012)


Yearly Progression

3000m: 1999 - 9:04.42; 2002 - 9:21.94; 2005 - ; 2006 - 8:38.86; 2007 - 8:28.66; 2008 - 8:33.66, 2009-8:30.61; 2010-8:34.58; 2011-8:38.67; 2012- 8:41.22; 2013- -; 2014- 4; 2015-8:39.75; 2016-8:31.86

5000m:  1999 - 15:42.79; 2000 - 15:11.11; 2001 - 15:59.4; 2002 - 15:49.7; 2003 - 15:44.8; 2004 - 15:13.26; 2005 -; 2006 - 14:47.43; 2007- 14:22.51 NR; 2008 - 14:25.43; 2009 - 14:37.01; 2010- 14:27.41: 2011-14:20.87 NR; 2012- 14:35.62; 2013- -; 2014- 4; 2015-14:46.69; 2016-14:35.69

10,000m: 2011-30:48.98; 2012- 30:30.44; 2013- -; 2014- 4; 2015-31:13.29; 2015-31:13.29; 2016-31:36.37A


Career Highlights

1998      5th      World Cross Country Championships (junior)

1999      2nd     World Cross Country Championships (junior)
1999      3rd      All Africa Games (5000m)

2000      1st      World Cross Country Championships (junior)

2000    14th      Olympic Games (5000m)

2001      4th      World Cross Country Championships (junior)

2001      1st      African Junior Championships (5000m)

2002      3rd      World Cross Country Championships (junior)

2002      3rd      World Junior Championships (5000m)

2003       5th     World Cross Country Championships (4km)

2004      8th      World Cross Country Championships (4km)

2006      8th      World Cross Country Championships (4km)

2006      3rd      World Athletics Final (3000m)

2006      5th      World Athletics Final (5000m)

2007      8th      World Cross Country Championships (8km)

2007    2nd      World Championships (5000m)

2007    1st       World Athletics Final (5000m)

2007    2nd      World Athletics Final (3000m)

2008    5th        Olympic Games (5000m)

2008    2nd       World athletics Final (3000m)

2008    2nd       World Athletics Final (5000m)

2009    1st        World Championships (5000m)

2009    2nd       World Athletics Final (3000m)

2009    3rd        World Athletics Final (5000m)

2010    2nd       World Indoor Championships (3000m)

2010    1st        African Athletics Championships (5000m)

2010    1st        Diamond League Race Final Standings (5000m)     

2010    1st        Continental Cup (5000m)      

2010    1st        Commonwealth Games (5000m)

2011    1st        World Cross Country Championships

2011    1st        World Championships (5000m)

2011    1st        World Championships (10,000m)

2011    1st        Diamond League Race Final Standings (3000m/5000m)

2012    2nd       Olympic Games (5000m)      

2012    3rd        Olympic Games (10,000m)

2015    1st        World Championships (10,000m)


Prepared by James Wokabi and Mutwiri Mutuota for the IAAF ‘Focus on Athletes’ project. Copyright IAAF 2008-2016