•Moraa led the National Police Service women's relay team to a first-place finish in the 4x400m race
•She was also in exceptional form in the women's 400m where she won easily
•Moraa says running in the 400m will boost her speed
World Under-18 400m silver medalist Mary Moraa admits she is yet to reach peak physical condition despite clinching the women's 400m at the 1st Athletics Kenya Track and Field weekend meeting at Nyayo Stadium over the weekend.
Moraa timed 53.41 to edge ahead of a field consisting of fierce competitors, including Linda Kageha (54.72) and Kenya Prisons' Mercy Adija (55.18) who finished second and third respectively.
She also led the National Police Service women's relay team to a first-place finish in the 4x400m race.
Moraa says it was not an easy walk in the park for her because she has not trained much since her graduation from the National Police College.
"Today's race was more of an opportunity to test myself rather than a competition. I haven't trained as much as I wanted ever since I graduated from college about a month ago. My speed is still below par and my focus will be to improve on it going forward," Moraa, who boasts a personal best of 51.75 in the 400m, said.
She further added that she will be aiming for a podium place in the women's 800m at the upcoming World Championship in Oregon, USA and the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham, England.
"Running in the 400m was merely to improve on my speedwork but my main focus remains on the 800m. This year, I want to work harder so I can make it for Oregon and Birmingham. I am trusting in God that my efforts will pay off with a podium place in both events," she said.
It has been a chequered 2021 for Moraa who was transitioning to the two-lap race after specialising in the sprints.
The Mogonga Secondary School alumnus finished eighth in the women's 800m at the Brussels Diamond League in September, less than two weeks after she timed 2:39.47 in the women's 1,000m to finish 10th.
She enjoyed better fortunes in August at the Palio Citta della Quercia in Rovereto, Italy where she clocked 2:00.40 to win the women's 800m.
She also excelled on home soil at the Kip Keino Classic in late-September, crossing the finish line in 2:00.11 in 800m.
Moraa says she is better prepared for the upcoming season, having learnt valuable lessons in the previous year.
"I learnt a lot last year. One of the mistakes I made was to take control of the race from the onset and for the next 600m before petering out in the end. It was a lesson that I shouldn't play my cards earlier but to be more calculative,"she said.
The Meeting Stanislas Nancy champion also paid homage to the current crop of 400m specialists, saying they are more than capable of inheriting the mantle she has left behind in that race category.