Kenya’s Olympics to ‘officially start’ with athletics

Gelete Burka of Ethiopia and Vivian Jepkemoi Cheruiyot of Kenya compete in the Women's 10000 metres ...
Gelete Burka of Ethiopia and Vivian Jepkemoi Cheruiyot of Kenya compete in the Women's 10000 metres final at World Athletics Championships. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images for IAAF)

The stage is set for the epic battle between distance running rivals, Kenya and Ethiopia as athletics takes centre stage from Friday at the 2016 Olympics in Rio.

Kenyans and their eternal enemies from the north will renew their supremacy battle at the first track final of the Summer Games programme, the women 10000m final.

Four-time world champion, Vivian Cheruiyot, told Chamgei FM in Brazil she will go out there and leave it all on the blue Rio tartan in her final push to land Olympics gold on the track.

The Beijing 2015 world champion over the distance added they had put their nightmare travel to Rio behind to focus on the task at hand with most Kenyans expecting their Olympics to ‘officially start’ on Friday.

“We don’t care (about what happened), we came here to compete,” the Berlin 2009 world champion over 5000m and double gold medallist at Daegu 2011 Worlds declared.

‘The Pocket Rocket’ who won Olympics silver at the London 2012 Games in the shorter distance will partner the ever smiling Betsy Saina and African champion, Alice Aprot to take on the Ethiopians led by favoured Beijing champion, Almaz Ayana.

“We are set for the event, pray for us,” the Oregon Track Club runner in America, Saina said.

Team Kenya Chef-de-Mission, Stephen Soi is the man who barely sits for a second for a chat as he runs up and down to make sure that all is well.

“Dealing with such a huge delegation isn’t a simple task all the hitches seem to be dying down now and we are focus on the task ahead,” the official added.

The Kenyan charge on the track will kick-off with the men 800m heats with London champion and record holder, David Rudisha, former world junior winner, Alfred Kipketer and fourth finisher from Beijing, Ferguson Rotich, the first out of the track at 7:00pm Kenyan time.

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