In 2023, Faith Cherotich, a rising star in Kenyan athletics, made a remarkable impact on the world stage.
At just 19 years old, Cherotich, mentored by the celebrated Faith Kipyegon, showcased her extraordinary talent, earning the title of senior world medallist in the 3000m steeplechase and reigning as the world U20 champion.
This impressive achievement led to her recognition as the World Athletics Rising Star of the year. Cherotich’s journey through 2023 was marked by both triumph and resilience.
She began her year with a strong performance at the World Athletics Cross Country Championships in Australia, contributing to Kenya’s silver in the women’s U20 team event.
Cherotich also held the third-fastest time ever in the world U20 3000m steeplechase. However, her progress was dramatically interrupted by a car accident, which caused minor injuries and concussion, temporarily derailing her training and competition plans.
Despite this setback, Cherotich’s determination shone through. After recovering, she had only three weeks to prepare for the World Championships trials, where she successfully qualified.
At the World Athletics Championships in Budapest, she delivered an outstanding performance, securing a personal best of 9:00.69 and finishing third, just behind Bahrain’s Winfred Yavi and fellow Kenyan Beatrice Chepkoech.
Cherotich continued her impressive form in the Diamond League. After the World Championships, she achieved third place in Zurich and then broke the nine-minute barrier with a personal best of 8:59.65 in Eugene, which placed her 11th on the senior world all-time list.
Valentijn Trouw, Cherotich’s career manager, expressed confidence in her potential, praising her talent, calm demeanor, and strong mentality.
He noted how her composed response to challenging situations, like the car accident, indicated her ability to handle pressure, a crucial trait for elite athletic performance.
Cherotich’s success at the World Cross Country Championships, where she helped win team silver, and her resilience in overcoming adversity further underscored her promise as a future star in athletics.
Cherotich’s performance in Budapest did not surprise Trouw, who recognized her intuitive understanding of race tactics and her ability to perform well under various conditions.
He emphasized her potential to achieve great things in championships, given her strength, talent, and tactical acumen.
Looking ahead, Cherotich, still in the early stages of her career, aims to gain more experience in the Diamond League and consistently run under nine minutes. With sights set on the Paris 2024 Olympics, she is poised to make significant strides in athletics.
Her story is not just about her achievements but also about her ability to navigate challenges and emerge stronger, a quality that defines great athletes.
In summary, Faith Cherotich’s 2023 was a year of remarkable achievements and resilience. Mentored by Faith Kipyegon, she emerged as a world-class athlete, overcoming adversity to secure her place as a leading figure in Kenyan and global athletics. Her performances and attitude point towards a bright future, potentially filled with more successes and records.
Source: World Athletics