Mulei faces challenge from 16 challengers
Kenya is among 11 countries that have competitors in the girl’s long jump final today.
Kenya will be represented by Kwathanze Secondary School Form Three student Gloria Mulei who is more than ready to tackle 16 other competitors as she strives to win a rare medal for Kenya in the event.
Among contestants, she will engage for the coveted gold include pre-event favourite Luying Gong of China whose season best stands at 6.35m, recorded in February 22.
“I know the Chinese is good in her game because of experience, but I have also trained well in my own little way to overcome that,” Mulei said.
Apart from Gong, the trio consisting of Leah Sophy Klik of Germany (6.31m), Chantoba Bright of Guyana (6.30m) and Kristine Blazevica of Latvia (6.28m) are other hot favourites for the medals on offer this evening.
Mulei insists she is in shape to tackle the event and her main aim is to at least win a medal for her country.
“I have been training well here at Kasarani for the last eight months and I believe this gives me an edge over other competitors,” she said.
Mulei said she will use the same tactics she applied that aided her to romp into the triple jump final that was contested yesterday.
“The basic here is to apply speed in my take-off and then combine it with an upright posture in my jumps and that might help me to be a t par with some of the favourites in this event,” she said.
Coach Carolyn Kola has advised Mulei to be very composed as she goes about her business in the final. Kola says composure is the hall mark of any champion in the discipline.
“I don’t want her to be carried away like the way she was during her second attempt in triple jump preliminaries on Friday. Lack of composure can make one to lose focus in an event that they could have won comfortably,” Kola said.
Kola reiterated that speed combined with an upright posture during takeoffs help athletes to achieve more distance in their jumps.
“This is what we have been perfecting in camp with Mulei for a period of time. She had lots of grey areas when she joined my camp at Kasarani last December. We worked on her weaknesses and we are impressed.” [Erick Ochieng]