At 31, most athletes’ slow down in their career as they approach retirement, but for three-time 20km walking race African champion Grace Wanjiru, it only signals a new dawn her speciality when she debuts at the World Championship in Athletics in Daegu, South Korea.
Wanjiru won bronze medal at the Delhi Commonwealth Games and believes it is time to take her game to the next level by taking on the world’s best in Daegu.
“I am experienced and it was no fluke when I broke the Kenya record when I won the national championship,” said Wanjiru.
The Defence Forces walker will, however, not be the only wolf in the pack. She will have Emily Ngii Wamusi in the team as four walkers were named to the premier global track and field championship.
The men’s team has David Kimutai and Josphat Sirma. At 21, Wamusi is relishing taking over from her mentor Wanjiru.
But she knows she has to prove herself before she can take over as Kenya’s top woman walker in the international championship.
“I have never been to the World Championship. This event offers me an opportunity to showcase my walking prowess.
“I had not thought of making the team to Daegu, but I put in a good show at the national trials which secured me a ticket,” said Wamusi.
With Wanjiru posting an impressive time of 1:28:15, to equal her Africa record that she set at Nyayo Stadium in 2010 when she won gold.
Wamusi was second timed at 1:31:54 to qualify for the world championship.
“We are going to experience a new challenge. It means that we must pull up our socks in camp and see that we implement all the instructions of coach tells us,” said Wamusi.