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Ex-800m World champion Sum eyes Olympic medal

Wednesday May 27 2020
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2013 800 metres world champion Eunice Sum (left) and her daughter Diana Jeruto applying fertilizer to maize plants in her farm in Ngeria, Uasin Gishu county on May 25, 2020. She has resorted to farming after Coronavirus pandemic stopped all sports competitions and tournaments. PHOTO | DENNIS LUBANGA | NATION MEDIA GROUP

By BERNARD ROTICH

The 2013 800 metres world champion Eunice Sum is focusing on winning an Olympic gold medal over the distance.

She has been training alone at her home in the leafy suburb of Elgon View in Eldoret following a government directive to ban social gatherings to prevent the spread of coronavirus.

Nation Sport caught up with her at her maize farm in Ngeria, Uasin Gishu County.

Sum said that she is looking forward to a better season when competition resumes in the new schedule of the Wanda Diamond League in August after some meetings were cancelled owing to Covid-19.

“I have been following a training programme sent to us by our coach, though it’s challenging to train alone. We are used to group training which motivates us to persevere,” she said.

Sum is back to the drawing board after three races she was supposed to compete in were called off across the globe because of the virus.

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She hopes to use the Diamond League races to sharpen her skills ahead of the Olympics Games that were moved to next year.

“I was in good shape for the cancelled races. I now want to use the Diamond League races to rectify small mistakes as I focus on the Olympic Games,” she said.

The athlete is also preparing to participate in the World Athletics Continental Tour which was moved to September 26 in Nairobi.

“All is not lost, and my training has been going on well. I want to improve my personal best time,” Sum said.

Concerning the Olympics Games, she said she has enough time to prepare. Her aim is to win a medal.

“My goal at the Olympics Games will be a top three finish because I’m missing an Olympic medal in my cabinet of trophies,” added Sum.

In her first attempt at Summer Games, Sum only competed in the heats at the London Olympic Games in 2012. Thereafter, at the 2016 Rio Olympic Games, she improved her performance and competed in the semi-finals.

In 2017, Sum couldn’t compete at the World Championships in London after falling sick during the heats. She returned home empty handed.

The following year, she represented Kenya in the Africa Championships in Asaba, Nigeria and finished in ninth position after clocking 2:03.38.

She represented Kenya in the Doha World Championships last year and came fifth in a time of 1:59.71.

Sum said she had not prepared well after picking a hamstring injury. The athlete said she was happy that she reached the finals.

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