Olympic debutant Betsy Saina will be seeking glory in the women’s 10,000m alongside world champion Vivian Cheruiyot and Africa 10,000m champion Alice Aprot.
Having qualified for the Rio Olympics on her 28th birthday last month during trials, Saina believes the Olympics in itself is special.
“I treat the games as special not because they happen every four years but because I made it into the games for the first time on my birthday,” Saina said during her training at Kipchoge stadium in Eldoret.
She cut into the team on July 30th while celebrating her birthday.
“I want to make the event memorable by doing well in the Olympics. Qualifying on the day I was born means a lot to me and the only way to reward my fans is to perform well,” she explained.
The US-based athlete represented Kenya last year at the Beijing world championships but finished eighth.
With 30:45 personal best over 10,000m in mind, she believes the calibre of competition in Rio
will enable her to lower her best time.
“Setting another personal best in itself will be my greater achievement and I know it is possible through the type of competition in the category,” Saina said.
But she says her main duty is to ensure Kenya secure the podium slots.
“Apart from my individual target of a medal I also have to make sure the team secures podium spots,” she said.
“Everybody is saying Almaz Ayana of Ethiopia is there but we are viewing it differently. Not as a challenge but just a competitor,” Saina who is a fan of the Kenya Sevens rugby team said.
Saina has won many races abroad including IAAF Diamond league meetings.