Sum out to roll back the years in 800m final
Keith McGhie in Doha
An increasingly confident Eunice Sum will attempt to turn the clock back six years in tonight’s women’s 800m final scheduled for 10.10pm (Kenyan time) in Doha.
Sum, the 2013 World Champion, has returned to her near best this season but faces a strong field including clear favourite Ajee Wilson from the USA.
In the absence of South African Caster Semenya and Burundi’s Francine Nyonsaba—the top two in the last championships—bronze medallist Wilson has dominated the two-lap race recently and comfortably won her heat in the semi-finals.
Sum, now 31, has also impressed, battling through a very physical semi- final, where arms and elbows proved almost as important as leg speed during the last 150 metres, after coming through her heat as the fastest non-automatic qualifier.
Reflecting on a tough race, the Kenyan, who went on to take the 2014 Commonwealth Games title, explained: “It was my plan to go out fast as I almost lost my place in qualifying in the heats through running differently and getting caught in the middle of the runners.”
She added: “I have been concentrating on training really fast over 400 metres so I was able to take the semi-final out fast over the first lap and control the race. Coming round the last bend, I was pushed in the back but was really focussed on reaching the line so the jostling didn’t affect me too much.”
“I’ve seen Ajee in recent races and she is very confident and a decent athlete so I expect her to run fast in the final,” said Sum.
“I will think about what I want to do in the final because I so much want to win a medal for my country.”