Surprise package at 2013 championships, Eunice believes she can soar
World 800m champion in 2013 Eunice Sum is not worried ahead of her fifth shot at the IAAF World Championships in Doha.
She was among the first batch of Team Kenya athletes that left the country midnight on Monday, says she will be looking back to the Moscow inspiration at the World Championships.
In Moscow, the 31-year-old recalls how not even her officials had faith in her despite making to the finals and nobody had envisaged her winning gold, compounded by the fact that she nearly missed the flag for her victory parade after running a time of 1:53.38 at the Luzhniki Stadium.
“There was literally no flag for me, that is because nobody expected me to win. Luckily the men’s 1,500m had just ended where Asbel Kiprop and Silas Kiplagat won gold and silver respectively.
Kiplagat lent me his flag, that is how bad the situation was,” recalls the 2012 African silver medalist.
“Some Kenyan athletes and officials had just made out of the stadium after the end of the men’s 1,500m race, they only came back after I had won,” said Sum who won bronze at the 2015 Championships despite being the favourite.
Sum says that was the only defeat she suffered in 2015 in Beijing China, which further expands her theory that form before major championships does not count much.
“Not many will be talking about Sum in Doha because they think I am done. I have not had good season owing to a series of injuries, the last one being a hamstring.
I am happy to have recovered fully,” said Sum. Despite travelling to the 2017 edition London, she could not compete as she suffered a chickenpox attack.
‘I was isolated in a room alone in London because the sickness is contagious and therefore I was not able to run. It was a big blow, which affected me the following season.
But over time, I have matured as an athlete, that is why I want to make the championships memorable,” said the former Commonwealth Games champion.
Despite being the only Kenyan representative at the world championships after Jackline Wambui was withdrawn from the team, Sum doesn’t want that to take away her preparation from the task ahead.
“Wambui is one of the big upcoming talents we have around. Honestly I feel bad for her. Also in 2013 I was with 2007 Osaka World Championships winner Janeth Jepksogei but she too, did not compete due to illness. I ran with Winny Chebet but she finished in the semis,” recalls Sum.