Ta Lou feels Kenyan sprinters can build on late Bett’s Beijing exploits

Marie Jose Ta Lou
Marie Jose Ta Lou

Marie Jose Ta Lou the fastest woman in the world has urged Kenyan athletes to build on the exploits and successes of the late Nicholas Bett — 2015 400m/hurdles champion — to establish themselves in sprints.
Ta Lou, the world 100m and 200m silver medallist, said that it is all about self belief and with time Kenyans will be competing against the best in the world, giving and example of her rise to stardom.
“When I was running 11 seconds, I did not know I could do 10 until I did it,” said the Ivorian. “I used to wonder if I could beat the girls from Jamaica, USA and Europe until the day it happened.”
Ta Lou’s athletics career began in the football pitch from where she was fished for the tracks. With little to no youth competitive experience, Ta Lou only managed to finish sixth at the Africa Senior Championship semi finals in 2010, Nairobi, two years into her undergraduate studies in medicine.
She encouraged Africa to capitalise on the resources nature has availed at their disposal and exploit sprints.
“We in Africa have good weather, terrain and a better diet to perform in sprints compared to Europe and the Americas. We should take advantage of this,” added the 30 year-old gold who has trained in Italy, France and Ivory Coast.
“I am training hard ahead of the season. I know everyone is equally training hard to lower my time so I have to up my game. I am looking forward for a great year and I am targeting to finish in the medal bracket in all the races I will compete including the World Championships,” she said. “If I can replicate the feeling I get in training, I know I can lower my personal best (10.85).”