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Know your IAAF Kampala stars: Mercyline Chelangat

By James Bakama

Added 9th March 2017 09:06 AM

“Prayer is key in my life. I have devoted my life to Jesus."

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Mercyline Chelangat (pictured, middle) tithed her first earnings. Well aware that her parents are God’s representatives on earth, she then devoted her second pay to building them a house.

Chelangat believes the gesture has since paid off.

“God has had a hand in my rise,” she said after winning the national cross country.

“Prayer is key in my life. I have devoted my life to Jesus,” she says.

But her two-year rise to prominence has also been a result of hard work.

“You can’t reach the top without serious preparation. I always have that in mind. So I have always trained very hard.”

She discovered her talent at the 2014 National Schools Athletics Championships in Mbale where she easily won the 5000m.

“I have never looked back since,” she says adding that women’s 10,000m world record holder Almaz Ayana is her role model.

“My dream is not only to win a world title, but also break Ayana’s record,” she explains citing the forthcoming world meet at Kololo as a launch pad to her dreams.

“I want a medal. If that doesn’t come then I want to be in the top 15 finishers.”

 This will assure her of a 10000m slot in the London World Championships in August.

Chelangat who narrowly missed a medal at the world junior championships in Poland last year, in January stamped her authority in the seniors with the national cross country title.

Big margin of victory

Her margin of victory was big. This was irrespective of the fact that she made her move into the lead in the final lap at Kololo.

A lead pack of 11, led by Rachael Chebet covered the fi rst lap in in 6.21 minutes. By the end of the next lap, the pack was reduced to just Rachael Chebet, Emilly Chebet, Mercy Chelangat and Doreen Chesang.

The group was further reduced to Chebet and Chelangat, but Chelangat moved into the lead on the final lap. She crossed the line in 34:41, finishing 35 seconds ahead of Chebet. She has since improved even further.

“She is responding well to training and should be able to run well at Kololo,” noted national coach Benjamin Longoris.


- Born: December 17, 1997

- Club: Police


- National cross country champion

- Fourth at 2016 World

- Junior Championships

Personal bests

- 5000m 15:34.09 Bydgoszcz

- 3000m steeplechase 10:15.00


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