‘Last Born’ Cherotich thinks of first spot in 2024 Paris Olympics

World Under-20, 3,000m steeplechase Champion Faith Cherotich, trains at Kipchoge Stadium in Eldoret town, Uasin Gishu County on July 02, 2024, in readiness for the Olympic Games.

Photo credit: Jared Nyataya| Nation

She may be called “Last Born” by her mates but 19-year-old World 3,000m steeplechase bronze medallist Faith Cherotich (pictured) is aiming for a first-place finish at the 2024 Paris Olympic Games slated for July 26 to August 11.

“This is my first Olympic Games and as you can see I’m the youngest in the team. Basically I’m still learning but I believe I will be able to run an impressive race when that time comes as I eye victory,” she said yesterday in Eldoret where Team Kenya is camping.

“I believe I’m ready to face the world,” declared Cherotich. The teenage steeplechase runner is one of the youngest members of Team Kenya athletics but shows maturity beyond her years when she talks about her expectations.

She said that winning the national trials was a sign of good things to come.

Indeed, her star has been rising steadily after she won gold at the World Under-20 Championships in Cali, Colombia in 2022, relegating fancied Ethiopians Sembo Almayew and Meseret Yeshanew to second and third positions respectively.

Huge promise

She would later make the Kenya senior team to the 2023 World Athletics Championships in Budapest where she exhibited her huge promise with a bronze medal.

It was no surprise when World Athletics named her the 2023 Rising Star of the Year.

Imperious Kenyan-born Bahraini Winfred Yavi won gold in Budapest with Beatrice Chepkoech finishing second.

The soft-spoken athlete Cherotich stormed to victory at the Kenyan Olympics Games trials held at Nyayo Stadium in Nairobi on June 14 and 15 crossing the finish line in 9:22.28 ahead of Chepkoech who clocked 9:22.76 while Jackline Chepkoech settled for third place. The trio will represent Kenya in the Paris women’s 3,000m steeplechase race.

Despite beating her seniors Cherotich said she was still learning the trade of steeplechase running.

Kenya will be seeking to win its first gold medal in the race that was introduced at the 2008 Beijing Games. Kenya won a silver then via Eunice Jepkorir as Russian Gulnara Samitova-Galkina won gold as her compatriot Tatyana Petrova grabbed bronze.