IN RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL
Kenya’s sole archer at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Shehzana Anwar, remains hopeful of progressing further in the competition despite struggling in the women’s individual ranking on Friday night.
Shehzana, who scored 579 points to finish 62nd out of 64 competitors, said her dreams to make her mark at the Games had not stopped and she was determined to do her best and take whatever came her way.
“My personal goal is to make my mark and I think by getting here I have already done that, so my personal goal has already been achieved,” said Anwar, who is coached and managed by her mother, Tebasamu Anwar.
Prior to making her debut at the Olympics, Shehzana, who later on Friday night carried the Kenyan flag at the Games’ opening ceremony, admitted that the Sambodromo venue of the event was somehow frightening.
“It is a little scary, I’ll be honest, but it’s an exhilarating experience. The venue is beautiful. I had someone explain to me what it was before they even started to set up and I can’t even imagine that it (Sambodromo) was literally just a street, and to look at it now you would never think that this is just a street people walk through,” she said.
Regardless, the right-handed shooter, who is the first Kenyan woman to qualify for archery at the Olympics, said she remained focused even as she competes against more experienced and highly ranked competitors.
“They are all people I have learned from and I have always followed them and looked up to them, so while I am here it doesn’t matter who I meet or shoot against, I know I will learn so much from them and it’s something you cannot get anywhere else,” she said.
“I try to be as calm as possible and mix with the people around. I try to continue my life like I am not in competition so that I know when I actually start I am calm and I am not so focused that my mind goes crazy,” she said.
Shehzana has been paired against top Korean shooter Boba on Monday at 10:44pm.
Sunday will see Kenya in action on the ring. Rayton Okwiri will face Russian opponent, Andrey Zamkovoy, in a round of 32 welterweight bout at 5:45pm.
Benson Gicharu has a date with Mongolian opponent, Tsendbaatar Erdenebat, in another round of 32 bantamweight fight on Wednesday from 11:45pm while light flyweight, Peter Mungai, will take to the ring against LV Bin of China on Monday at 5:15pm.