Newly engaged track beauty queen and 2014 Commonwealth Games 5000m winner Mercy Cherono has sought divine intervention to bounce back to form ahead of the IAAF World Championships scheduled for August 4-13 in London, England.
Cherono who is also the 2013 Worlds 5000m silver medallist decided to take a leap of faith and sought deliverance from injuries that have blighted her progression in one of Nigeria’s largest churches, The Synagogue Church Of All Nations, run by renowned preacher Prophet Temitope Balogun Joshua of the TB Joshua Ministries.
In a YouTube video shared in one of the church’s official channels, the former Commonwealth champion took time to share some of the challenges and frustrations she has experienced in her career before an estimated audience of 15,000 faithful.
Devoid of her trademark colourful braids and make up, Cherono cut the figure of a suffering believer desperately searching for a miracle.
Cherono who has not competed since her dismal performance at the 2016 Rio Olympics 5,000m women’s final told the congregation that she wanted Prophet Joshua to restart her stagnating career in prayer to avoid injuries that plague her ahead of major competition.
During last Sunday’s service, Cherono in the presence of her fiancée Edmond Ng’etich testified that she was feeling much better after a round of prayers and her injury had now ‘disappeared.’
“Before I came to the church my husband asked me to seek deliverance because I used to train well but before the race, I would get an injury. I used to take strong painkillers to sustain me during competition. But after the competition the pain would worsen.
“Before the Olympics Games I had a stress fracture that I had not noticed until later. I kept it from my coach and went on taking the painkillers. I hid from my coach because I was afraid he would remove me from the team.
“After Rio, my coach took me to Italy where I was treated. It’s been now three years and the same pattern repeats itself,” the former world junior gold medallist narrated.
Having finished third at the Rio Olympics Trials in Eldoret behind eventual champion, Vivian Cheruiyot and silver winner, Hellen Obiri in the 5000m, Cherono faded off her compatriots to clock 14:42.89 in the final in Brazil.
She missed out the bronze medal to 10000m winner and record holder, Almaz Ayana of Ethiopia to close what had been a lukewarm season by her high standards.
Cherono burst to global attention at the 2008 World Juniors in Bydgoszcz, Poland where she beat Ethiopian archrival, Genzebe Dibaba to the 3000m crown, being led to silver two years later by the latter.
(Report by Charity Wanja and Waihiga Mwaura)