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Cheruiyot, Kipruto in Visa London boost

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NAIROBI, Kenya, May 16- Olympic men steeple champion, Brimin Kipruto and double women’s titleholder, Vivian Cheruiyot have received a timely boost in their preparations for London 2012 after Visa announced they would sponsor the pair on Wednesday.

The Kenyan distance stars join an elite group of Visa-sponsored athletes that include Olympic gold medallists Michael Phelps (US /swimming), women Pole vault world record holder, Yelena Isinbayeva (Russia) and Allyson Felix (USA) in addition to South African pair of Natalie du Toit (SA- swimming) and Sifiso Nhlapo (SA – BMX).

Cheruiyot won the Best Sports Woman of the Year Award last February after clinching gold in the 5000m and 10000m at the Daegu Worlds where she ran her lifetime best in the latter in 30:48.

“I am delighted to be part of Team Visa for the London 2012 Olympic Games. I am currently training hard to make sure I can perform well in London and bring more gold medals home to Kenya,” said Cheruiyot.

Kipruto followed Athens silver with Beijing gold is out to defend his title after bagging silver at last year’s Worlds although his start to the campaign at the Samsung Diamond League opener in Doha where Cheruiyot won the women 3000m race was blighted by a 12th finish.

“I know Visa has selected a very high profile group of top athletes for their ambassadorship, being amongst them motivates me to give that little extra towards the upcoming Games,” he concluded.

Visa’s athlete selection process is based on a variety of criteria including their personal journey to the Olympic Games, achievements, dedication to developing their sport and active community involvement.

The firm will be the exclusive payment services sponsor and the only card accepted at the next four Olympic Games following the London edition.

“The Olympic Games begin and end with the athletes, and we’re excited to add Kipruto and Cheruiyot to our growing roster of Visa-sponsored athletes,” said Jabu Basopo, Country Manager Southern and East Africa.

“Building on our legacy of athlete support since 1986, we remain committed to helping Olympic hopefuls achieve their lifelong goals as they embark on the greatest athletic challenges of their lives,” he added.

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