- As the pandemic Coronavirus continues to bite, athletes have settled for virtual competition with Team Cheruiyot flagged by the World 1,500 Metres champion Timothy Cheruiyot set to battle Team Ingebrigtsen of Norway in the virtual Maurie Plant Memorial Race on June 11.
Team Cheruiyot is targeting a winning time of sub-four minutes and 50 seconds a target that has been Dubbed ‘Impossible Games’.
The Maurie Plant Memorial Race will see Team Cheruiyot, made up of Cheruiyot, 2017 World 1,500m champion Elijah Manang’oi, 800m runner Edwin Meli, 800m runner Timothy Sein and 1,500m athlete Vincent Keter take on Team Ingebrigtsen made of world-famous Ingebrigtsen brothers Jakob, Henrik and Filip, and two other athletes over 2,000m.
Team Cheruiyot will run at Nyayo National Stadium in Nairobi, while Team Ingebrigtsen and two other yet-to-be-named athletes, will run at Bislett Stadium in Norway.
Cheruiyot has pointed the difficulty in adjusting to 2,000m race that stretches over five laps.
“We want to do the last lap in 53 seconds, and it will be great to finish under for four minutes and 50 seconds,” Cheruiyot said.
“In fact, we are aiming at one of us finishing the race in 4:44.”
The 24-year-old Cheruiyot, who has tipped Manang’oi and Meli to return good times in the race, said they have had to change their training program by introducing more lapping sessions to cover an additional 400m to 500m.
“We have also added more of the long runs as we train how to spread our energies across the distances,” the 2018 and 2019 Diamond League champion said.
Cheruiyot tipped that the Norwegian opponents will have a slight advantage over his team owing to the difference in altitude of 23 meters while Nairobi is 1,795 meters and more so because they have been in training longer.
“They will have the advantage of competing at a lower altitude, practically at sea level while we shall be higher up. Nevertheless, we shall take them head-on,” he observed.
Cheruiyot, who has personal best of 1:43.11 in 800m, 3:28.41 in 1,500m and 3:49.64 in One Mile, said the Maurie Plant Memorial is part of his preparations for the Diamond League and World Athletics Continental Tour starting in August.