As policewoman Millicent Ndoro prepares for the Commonwealth Games selection trials after an absence of close to two years in the track and field events, her baby boy comes first in her life.
The one-year-old boy is her darling and she is very committed to his welfare as a first-time mother.
And as she prepares for tough times ahead in pursuit to qualify for Commonwealth Games, she admits that balancing between serving her boy, work duties and training sessions have become challenging and tricky.
“Before I do anything, my first consideration goes to my boy who is the darling of my heart and I adore him so passionately while athletics comes second to that,” she said.
Ndoro is eager to be selected into the final national squad heading to Birmingham, England for the Commonwealth Games from July 28 to August 8.
“Athletics comes third after my son and my job since he (son) is my inspiration towards work and athletics. Before I do anything, I make sure he’s safe in all aspects,” said the 33-year-old police corporal stationed at Nakuru’s Central Police Station.
And as she gets ready for the trials, she is worried about one athlete who makes life difficult for her in her ambition for top honours in a career that has bogged her mind. She is Maxmilla Imali.
Imali works with the Directorate of Criminal Investigation (CID).
She (Imali) is the 2019 African Games 4 × 100 metres relay bronze medalist attained in Rabat, Morocco.
“She (Imali) is a tough and consistent sprinter who has always beaten and conquered me in the 100-metres dash as opposed to 200metres where we have always exchanged the lead. At times, I beat her in this one (200metres) and vice vasa making the rivalry very competitive, healthy and sweet,” Ndoro told Standard Sports during Rift Valley Regional Police Athletics Championships at Rift Valley Institute of Science and Technology (RVIST) Stadium on March 11, 2022.
“This rivalry is good for all of us and the sport in general. And without it (the rivalry), it makes it (athletic competitions) boring to compete against those (athletes) whom you can easily beat,” she added.
While in Nakuru, she trains at RVIST Stadium while in Nairobi, she does it at Moi International Sports Centre in Kasarani.
Ndoro likes training with men as opposed to female competitors as a measure to improve her strength and time.
“Male runners are more powerful in the training of track and field events. When I compete against them (men), it gives me the motivation to improve on my strength and time record against the female competitors,” she said.
She said training at RVIST Stadium is meant to be closer to her son.
She said that does not rule out training in Nairobi where she goes for specialized training against some of the best national sprinters who include 100 metres national champion Ferdinand Omanyala and his arch-rival Mark Otieno.
“They (Omanyala and Otieno) are national athletic greats and training against them is an asset to me in my efforts to beat Imali ahead of the Commonwealth Games trials,” she said.
This is not the first time Ndoro will be taking part in the international championships.
In the past, she had taken part in the All Africa Games in Rabat, Morocco in August 2019, Africa Athletics Championships in Asaba, Nigeria in August 2018 and in the 2015 Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast, Australia.
At the Gold Coast Games, she fell in the semifinals at position four. In the Asaba Championships, she also lost in the semifinals at position three and was nowhere in the Morocco Games.
Her personal best of 11.4 seconds in the 100 metres was achieved at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, Scotland in 2014.
Her Personal Best in the 200 metres of 23.48 seconds was achieved at National Athletic Championships in 2018.
Although she has never won a medal in any of the aforementioned international championships, it has not dampened her hopes to stamp her authority in future sprints.
“A good player does not lose hope in an event the moment he/she loses but it should give you the motivation to win in the next international championships,” said the policewoman who revealed that her participation in international races had made her get promoted at her place of work.
At the continental level, she respects Ivorian sprinter Marie-Josée Ta Lou whom she described as experienced and unbeatable.
“Beating her (Ta Lou) has been a tall order and has not been any easy on a number of times I have tried to compete against her in the African Games and Africa Athletics Championships. I respect her,” she said.
Despite her participation in the continental championships and in the Commonwealth Games, Ndoro has never featured in the Olympics.
“Olympic qualifying times are very high but that does not mean it is not unachievable,” she observed.
Besides the Birmingham Games, she looks forward to taking part in the Kipkeino Classics on May 7 at Moi International Sports Centre in Kasarani, Nairobi, Africa Athletics Championships from June 8-12 in Mauritius and World Championships from July 15-24 in Eugene, Oregon USA.