•She said it was at the Commonwealth Games, where she was able to set her personal best.
•Hanifa noted that she has improved on her swimming in a bid to increase her prospects for a medal at the games.
Kenya female triathlete Hanifa Said feels she has what it takes to finish on the podium at this year’s All Africa Games in Morocco.
Hanifa, who will be among the four Kenyans in the triathlon team, said the experience she acquired at 2011 All Africa Games in Maputo and the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games will play a key role in assisting her to achieve her targets.
“My first international event was the Maputo Games, where I remember I didn’t do well. I think it was because I was still naive and I didn’t know how to handle certain situations. But my best event which played a key role in my growth was the Commonwealth Games,” Hanifa recalled.
“The Commonwealth Games were my biggest eye-opener as It was the first time I was coming up against the world’s top opener triathletes. I learnt that triathlon is technical and that you have to sharpen all your transition skills and fundamentals. You must be consistent throughout the race and be able to keep your pace,” she added.
She said it was at the Commonwealth Games, where she was able to set her personal best.
“The little experience I got during that event was able to hand me my personal best time. With that, I was convinced that with a little bit of hard work and focus, I can be a better tri-athlete,” she said.
She hinted that it was because of that experience that she was able to bag gold after beating a strong field that included triathlon powerhouse Egypt at the last month’s Africa Zone Five Championships. The event also attracted countries like host Rwanda, Burundi, Congo, Tanzania and Uganda.
“I guess all this comes with maturity and experience. Eight years in the trade, I am now able to make proper judgement and handle particular situations better. I feel I am strong-minded and ready to face any challenge,” she said.
Hanifa noted that she has improved on her swimming in a bid to increase her prospects for a medal at the games. “Swimming was a big letdown for me but I have been able to work on it and I can confidently say I have improved,” Hanifa said.
In Rwanda, Kenya also bagged a silver through Josette Njeri —a performance that has given manager Harrison Mwangi confidence of a podium finish for the women’s team. “The performance has generated a lot of self-belief in the team and we are looking at a top-three finish for the girls and a top 10 for the boys’ team,” said Mwangi.
The boys’ team comprises of Abdalla Mansur and Soud Hassan. Triathlon is making a comeback at the games after failing to make the cut for the 2015 All Africa Games in Congo, Brazzaville .