Making amends

Thursday, June 3rd, 2021 00:00 |
Hellen Syombua (right) wins the women 400m final race ahead of Gladys Musyoki during a past Athletics Kenya Sprint event at Nyayo Stadium. Photo/PD/DAVID NDOLO

National 400m record holder Hellen Syombua has been ruing her missed chances after missing an opportunity to represent the country during the World Athletics Relay Championships in Silesia, Poland last month.

Missing the Championships was not her making entirely, she is, however, hoping to make amends during the rescheduled Olympic Games in Tokyo, Japan next month.

The 23-year-old has double fond memories of the 2019 world Relays where she helped Kenya to a famous bronze medal in the mixed relays.

She had stand out moments in that edition, in the women’s 4x400m as well as the 4x400m mixed relay, where her performance literally rescued Team Kenya.

“In the mixed relay, we were lying seventh when I took over in the second change-over, I managed to go past four competitors to place the team in the medal bracket.

When I look back, I feel excited because that is the only medal we won during that edition,” Syombua reflected.

She could, however, miss out on the 2021 edition after she tested positive for Covid-19 and subsequently was not cleared on time for the championship.

“I felt disappointed because I was not out there helping my team. I felt that my input was missed.

I don’t want to disrespect the team that we took to Poland because they actually put up a memorable performance in the history of the Championships, I just feel that I really missed out,” said Syombua.

Syombua, whose mark is 51.09, the fastest in the country over a lap says a solid race when the largest sporting extravaganza gets underway in Tokyo on July 23 is her dream.

“ I don’t feel pressured being the only female sprinter who has qualified for Tokyo. I am happy for that and that is why I will continue training very hard.

Honestly, I think, there is no reason why I should not get a podium finish if I do everything right,” assessed Syombua.

With the Africa senior Championships coming soon, the sprinter  says she doesn’t mind representing the country in Nigeria if asked to.

“Anything that will go towards me having good preps for the olympics I will go for it ofcourse. My energy is geared towards good preparations,” she added.

During the Olympics pre trials last week, Syombua clocked 52.92,  to win the women’s final ahead of Maureen Thomas (54.74) and Veronica Mutua (55.04).

“My aim is to improve on my finishing in the last 100m and believe it would take me to the next level.

I have been working towards that goal. I have also been eyeing the African record of 49.54. I hope to challenge it soon,” she declared.

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