How coronavirus has shattered Mary Moraa’s 2020 huge athletics dreams

Friday, April 24th, 2020 00:00 |
Kenya’s Mary Moraa reacts after the Women’s 400m semi-final at the 2019 IAAF Athletics World Championship. Photo/PD/ FILE

When the year 2020 begun, World Under-18 silver medallist and reigning Africa Under-20 400 metres champion, Mary Moraa, had her mind focused on the multiple events lined up in the World Athletics calendar.

Moraa, who came second in the same  race at the 2017 World Athletics Under-18 Championships and fourth at the 2018 World Under-20 Championships, was lining up for a successful year before the coronavirus outbreak shelved her dreams.

“The outbreak of coronavirus has really destroyed my dreams of making it big in 2020.

I had big plans and dreams to achieve this year but with the pandemic that has brought the entire sports events to a complete halt globally, has really devastated me,” the 19-year old Moraa told People Sport.

“Athletics is my full time job because l don’t have any other work that I do. It’s my life, my profession, my career. So when such disturbing events occur, it affects us and even disorient some of us but all in all, we leave it to God as we keep praying for each other,” added Moraa.

The impact of pandemic on Moraa’s preparation for the five major races she had planned for this year, has obliterated her sporting calendar as she had planned to make headlines starting with races in Netherlands on Sunday and in Poland on May 13.

She was also schedule to race in Spain on May 25 before heading to Algiers, Algeria in June for the Africa Senior Athletics Championships.

She was then supposed to head straight back home for the most anticipated World Under 20 champions in Nairobi from July 7 to 12, then wrap up with what she said could have been her biggest event of the year, the Tokyo Olympic Games that was scheduled for July 31 to August 9 in Japan.

Big races cancelled

“The 22nd Africa Senior Athletics Championships in Algeria in June, the World Under 20 Champions here at home (Nairobi) in July and the Tokyo Olympic Games in Japan in August were my biggest races for the year where all my efforts, trainings and targets were focused on but now, they have all been cancelled,” disappointed Moraa said.

Moraa, 19 is not sure if she will be able to compete again in the Under-20 Championship.

“Nobody knows when this disease will end and I feel it has dealt a big blow on me because I think I may not be able to take part in the championship anymore since this was my last event for the below 20 years bracket this year,” she regrets.

However, Moraa who will forever be remembered for her magical kick that saw her, shaking off men’s challenge in the 4x400m mixed relay during the World U-18 Championships in 2017 at Kasarani Stadium, leading Team Kenya to win the heat, has promised to return to action with a bang once the virus is contained.

“I promise my fellow Kenyans that once athletics return to its normal routine and races start, I will surprise them. So for now, let’s pray God to shine on us and help us defeat this coronavirus thing,” she said.

With public gatherings banned in the country to help guard against the spread of the Covid-19, Moraa who has publicly declared her desire to transition from 400m to 800m, said that the ban has affected training schedules but was working from home to ensure she does not lose out on her fitness.

“My main target was to focus on 800m,” she said.

More on News