• Virginia Okumu timed 10:36.7 to win the 800m freestyle girls event off a recovering shoulder injury picked eight weeks ago at the National Long Course Championships.
• Virginia elected to skip the Kenya Secondary Schools' national Games to honour the KSF national trials.
Virginia Okumu overcame a shaky training regime to win the 800m freestyle finals at the ongoing National Trials at the Aquatic Center Kasarani.
Okumu timed 10:36.75 to win the long-distance event and setting her new personal best after shaving off seven seconds off her previous PB. She beat Bandari sisters Ali Juhaina and Ali Lubaina who timed 10:39.18 and 10:39.93 respectively. Omondi Mya (Gems) clocked 10:46.28 and Bagha Nurayn (Braeburn) tapped out of the waters in 11:28.97 to make the top five.
“It went well. I was first in the race and I am hopeful I will make the Kenya Team to both the Africa Games and World Championships. I’m also praying that my times will be fast enough for me to garner 500 FINA points for that is the minimum regulation for one to represent the country in these Games,” said Okumu.
"The 800m event set the tone for my weekend. It gave me the kind of pace that I need for 400m and 1,500m especially since I have not been training well for the past one year and a half," added the 18-year old who will swim 400m and 1,500m freestyle on Saturday and Sunday respectively.
Okumu has been on and off the pool due to injuries and she is happy with the time she has posted. In January last year, she was forced to stay off the swimming pool for six months after sustaining an Anterior cruciate ligament injury on her left knee.
“My physiotherapist completely stopped me to train and gave me lengthy ban off the waters and my body got messed up. When I resumed swimming, I fell sick for another three weeks and just when things got better, I picked a recurring shoulder injury in February," she said.
From the trials, five teams will be selected on Sunday to represent Kenya in international events including FINA Long Course World Championships, FINA World Junior Championships, All Africa Games, Summer FISU Universities Games and Africa Junior Championships.