Series20 Jun 2018

High and low – Timothy Cheruiyot


Timothy Cheruiyot in the 1500m at the IAAF World Championships London 2017 (© Getty Images)

IAAF Diamond League 1500m champion Timothy Cheruiyot says the high point of his career so far was earning a world silver medal. The Kenyan’s all-time low, however, was missing out by 0.07 on qualification for the 2014 IAAF World U20 Championships.



The 2017 season had gone very well for me. I’d enjoyed some very good training with my training partner Elijah Manangoi and our coach, Bernard Ouma, had given us good direction.

That year I had good endurance but I also felt that Manangoi and I were faster than ever before over the short distances and we were very confident.

I was encouraged by my performance at the Monaco Diamond League meeting. There I ran a PB of 3:29:10 to finish second behind Manangoi and I went into the World Championships in London ranked No.2 in the world and hopeful of winning a medal.

We had a plan before the race to make it fast and I took the pace. I felt things were going well in the race and it was only in the last 80 metres, when I started to feel tired, that Manangoi went past.

To win silver was a very happy moment for me because it was my first medal at a global championship. I had dreamt of this moment for many years and I was almost in tears on the medal podium. Elijah (the gold medallist) and I were very happy because we train together and we share the same club and coach.

I went back to my home village of Singorwet in Bomet County and I enjoyed a great celebration in which two cows were slaughtered.

My parents were very happy when I won a medal. I bought them a house, a tractor and a three-acre plot of land. I also put together some funds to help my brothers and sisters go to school, while I bought myself a car and some land to grow tea, maize and potatoes.

Kenyan middle-distance runner Timothy Cheruiyot



My low moment came at the 2014 Kenyan Trials for the World U20 Championships. I was ranked second or third going into the 800m, but I finished third and just missed a spot on the two-man team by 0.07.

I remember I was very disappointed because I led for most of the race but Alfred Kipketer and Joshua Masikonde went past me in the final meters.

It took me some time to recover from the disappointment and my coach (Bernard Ouma) helped me refocus on the 2015 season. Bernard has played a vital role in my development. He has helped me financially when my family did not have funds to support me. I thank him for everything.

I watched the World U20s in Eugene that year and Kenya won gold and silver in the men’s 800m. For me, this only acted as extra motivation and it made me more determined than ever to work hard to achieve my goals.

Steve Landells for the IAAF