Emmanuel Masinde @PeopleSports11
Women’s Berlin marathon lady champion Gladys Cherono yesterday returned back to the country to a low-key reception at the Eldoret International Airport despite her feat at the major marathon where she registered her third win and set a new course record.
Only a handful of relatives and friends turned up to welcome her home with song and dance and gave her traditional milk ‘mursik’ as she stepped out from the arrivals section.
The 35-year-old athlete whose feat has been eclipsed by Eliud Kipchoge’s world record, broke Japanese Mizuki Noguchi’s course record time of 2:19:12 set in 2005 by 61 seconds after clocking 2.18.11 and also improved her personal best time of 2:19:25 which she set when she won the 2015 edition of the Berlin Marathon.
Cherono, who announced her intentions of defending the title next year, beat two Ethiopians, Ruti Aga (2:18:34) and Tirunesh Dibaba (2:18:55) to rule the roost in the Sunday race.
“Dibaba is a house hold name in athletics, but I didn’t fear her going into the race because I had trained and prepared well. I was confident of making an impact in the race, but to be honest it was not a walk in the park,” said Cherono.
She added: “ I ‘m happy to have won the race three times and I’m now targeting a fourth win next year. My focus is now on improving my peronal best time again and also try to break the world record but for now I’m going to take a rest.”