New world junior champion Reynold Cheruiyot has dedicated the Cali glory to his athletic parents.
Cheruiyot won the second gold medal for Kenya in men’s 1500m at the ongoing World Athletics U20 championships in Cali, Colombia after recording 3:35.83 on the clock at the Pablo Guerrero Stadium on Thursday.
Another Kenyan prodigy Daniel Kimaiyo finished in third, clinching a bronze medal behind Ethiopia’s Ermias Girma who took silver after posting 3:37.24.
Following the coronation, the youngster has revealed that he always wanted to make his father and mother proud, as they both never made it to big occasions in their athletics career.
“My mom and dad were both athletes but they never got the opportunity to represent Kenya in international competitions or even compete abroad. In my mind, I had vowed to follow in their footsteps and one day make them proud. This gold is for them for all the support they have accorded me throughout my career,” Cheruiyot said.
“I also want to thank my coach, Jacob Langat, for the good work he has done for me. He was always ready with encouraging words even when I felt like giving up. He constantly told me to keep pushing and I am happy that I listened to him,” the youngster added.
He further narrated that he was convinced it was the moment to win the title won by compatriot Vincent Keter at last year’s edition in Nairobi from the onset.
Cheruiyot admitted that Daniel Kimaiyo, who bagged bronze after clocking 3:37.43 also contribute to his victory.
“I was confident there were good things in store for me, especially after I clocked a faster time than most of my competitors like the Ethiopian. The win was also made possible by the teamwork between Kimaiyo and I, which started all the way from Nairobi. We had been talking and eagerly looking forward to the race,” he said.
Cheruiyot is now focusing on next year’s World Championship and Paris Olympics in 2024 assignments after leaving a mark at the Worlds U20 Championships.
“I want to build on this performance and do better in the Diamond League this year. I know everybody now knows me and expects me to maintain the same level of performance. Therefore, I want to build on this gold and enhance my reputation even more. My ultimate dream is to become an Olympic champion,” he said.