× Sports Football Rugby Olympics Volleyball and Handball Cricket Boxing Golf Hockey Tennis Gossip & Rumours World Cup 2018 Basketball Athletics Sports Premier League Eliud Kipchoge Women in Sports Unique Sports Opinion Motorsport Videos Podcasts E-Paper Lifestyle & Entertainment Nairobian Entertainment Eve Woman Travelog TV Stations KTN Home KTN News BTV KTN Farmers TV Radio Stations Radio Maisha Spice FM Vybez Radio Enterprise VAS E-Learning Digger Classified Jobs Games Crosswords Sudoku The Standard Group Corporate Contact Us Rate Card Vacancies DCX O.M Portal Corporate Email RMS
×
SPORTS

SUM WARNS SEMENYA: Former world champ and Nyairera say South African will not have it easy in Rio

ATHLETICS By DENNIS OKEYO | July 21st 2016
800m runner Eunice Sum and 5000metre's Mercy Cherono in training session ahead of Rio Olympics 2016 at Kipchoge Stadium, in Eldoret , Uasin Gishu County on July 20, 2016.[PHOTO:DENNIS OKEYO/STANDARD]

South Africa’s Caster Semenya looks a shoe-in for a gold in the 800m at the forthcoming Olympic Games.

The strongly-built South African has been unbeatable this season in the IAAF Diamond League circuit and many Kenyans are worried that the likes of Eunice Sum and Margaret Nyairera will not have a chance in Brazil.

However, Sum and the promising World Junior champion Nyairera say they are prepared to take the fight to the South African, adding there are no favourites at events like the Olympics and World Championships.

Despite featuring in few races this season unlike last year when she won most of the races, culminating to her winning the Diamond League prize money, 28-year-old Sum has benchmarked the Rio Olympics title as her main target.

Sum went to last year’s World Championship as the hot favourite but had to settle for a bronze medal as Belarusian Marina Arzamasova produced a killer sprint in the homestretch. Canada’s Melissa Bishop won the silver.

For the first, Sum will be also be competing at a major event without her mentor, Janeth Jepkosgei, who is currently on maternity leave.

“Running the 800m is very tactical, it’s not anyone’s race. Last year, I went to the World Championships as the favourite but had to settle for bronze, so anything is possible. That’s why people should not say Semenya is unbeatable or that she will be handed the Olympic title on a silver platter.

“Janeth took a break from running, but she is still my big motivator. She encourages me a lot every single day but her absence is not affecting me at all.

 

SENIOR RANKS

“I haven’t raced in many events this season but it’s tactical. I didn’t want to burn myself out before Rio. So don’t write me off yet. See you in Rio,” said Sum after her training session at Kipchoge Stadium in Eldoret yesterday.

Sum will be teaming up with compatriot Nyairera, who has proved strong, to compete with big girls after graduating to the senior ranks this year.

Also in the 800m team is former World Junior Championships silver medallist Winnie Chebet.

The Kenyans girls will also face a strong challenge from Burundian Francine Niyonsaba. But Nyairera believes she has what it takes to go for a bigger global title as she fine-tunes her speed work.

She finished third at the Diamond League meeting in Monaco last week, clocking 1:56.64 in a race won by Semenya in a series record time of 1:55.33. Niyonsaba finished second (1:56.24).

“In athletics anything is possible. It all depends on who is well prepared mentally,” Nyairera said.

 

Share this story
KENYANS NOT FOCUSED ON MO FARAH: Tanui says they have no special plans on how to stop the Briton
The forthcoming Olympic Games in Brazil will once again see a battle between Olympic and world champion Mo Farah of Britain and Kenyans led by Geoffrey Kamworor.
Why Kenyan boxers are winning medals once again
The BFK led by President Anthony ‘Jamal’ Ombok was elected into the office in 2019 and has since...
.
RECOMMENDED NEWS
Feedback