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Syombua now focuses on Africa Senior Championships and Tokyo Olympics after missing World Relays

By Kiprono Ericson
Saturday, May 1st, 2021
Hellen Syombua (right) wins a 400m race at a recent Atheltics Kenya event at Nyayo Stadium. Photo/PD/DAVID NDOLO
In summary

After she was left out of Team Kenya for World Athletics Relay Championship in Silesia, Poland, National 400m record holder Hellen Syombua has shift shift her focus to the 22nd edition of Africa Senior Championships and Olympic Games set for this summer in Algeria and Tokyo, Japan respectively.

Syombua was part of the initial squad of 36 athletes who were set to fly Kenya’s flag at the biennial event but was however left out of the travelling party on medical grounds.

“I wish my compatriots the very best as they represent our country in Poland, I am certain they will make us proud.

I was to travel with the team but again we are leaving in difficult times due to pandemic but my focus now is Africa Senior championship on June and Olympics,” Syombua told People Sport.

The athlete was set to feature in the 4x400m race alongside Veronica Mutua, Gladys Nthenya, Joan Cherono and Mary Moraa.

At the 2019 championships held in Yokohama, Japan, Syombua was part of the quartet that bagged a bronze medal in the 4X400m mixed relay.

Kenya’s fastest 400m sprinters this season, Zablon Ekwam and Hellen Syombua,were left out of the Team for this weekend’s World Relay Championships in Silesia, Poland.

Athletics Kenya director for competitions, Paul Mutwii, said the two were among six athletes and two officials left out due to various reasons including unavailability and medical.

Other athletes dropped are United States-based Emmanuel Korir, Emmanuel Mutua, Kipkorir Rotich and Evangeline Makena, alongside head coach Steven Mwaniki and one of his deputies Geoffrey Macharia.

“It’s quite unfortunate we have to leave them behind,” said Mutwii, who was quick to assure the country that the remaining athletes are strong enough to post the much desired results.

Ekwam won the first leg of Athletics Kenya Meeting on February 27 in 45.65 seconds, a time that has seen him ranked 34th in the world.

Ekwam also won the third leg of the same series on March 6 in 45.97. Ekwam was to field in the 4x400m team that is now left with Kevin Kiprotich, William Rayan, Daniel Sanayek and Jared Momanyi.

Korir clocked 45.79 to finish fourth in the opening event of the World Athletics Continental Gold Tour last Saturday at Hayward Field, Eugene, Oregon, USA. He is placed 46th in World Athletics ranking this season.

Korir, Mutua and Syombua, who is the current national 400m record holder and has season’s best 55.17, were to compete in the 4x400mm mixed relay.

Meanwhile Team Kenya arrived safely in Silesia Wednesday in high spirits ahead of this weekend’s World Relays Championship.

The team is optimistic that they will perform well after good preparations during the bubble training in Kasarani in Nairobi as precaution to the Covid-19 virus.

According to the team manager Kennedy Tanui, the team is expected to perform well despite the Covid-19 challenges which affected training for various athletes who were later dropped due to medical reasons. “We are happy that we arrived safely and the team is in high spirits.

It has been a long journey but we want to appreciate the efforts made by Athletics Kenya to make sure athletes trained in a bubble due to the pandemic which has disorganised our lives,” Tanui told People Sports from Poland.

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