Walker Gati optimistic of making impact at the world junior race in Cali, Colombia
Kenyan junior race walker Margaret Gati says the World under 20 Championships in Cali, Colombia has presented her with an opportunity to fight for silverware.
An eighth place during the 2021 Under 20 championships in Nairobi, the walker is certain she picked valuable lessons from the competition that will help her go for a more appealing outcome.
“I know without doubt a walking race will take my place. I am so motivated and prepared to fight for my place on the plane to Colombia. After losing, I gave myself a challenge that this year I want to run well in Colombia. I want revenge against those girls who beat me in Kasarani,” Gati said.
The Kisii-born athlete has been looking up to fellow race walkers, World under 18 10,000m race walk silver medalist Dominic Samson Ndigiti as well as Emily Ngii, for inspiration.
“Back home, I am the only girl in the race walking. I used to get training programmes from Ndigiti because we don’t come from the same camp.
He has been motivating me and handing over skills like how to move legs and hands. When I join the senior ranks, I want to walk like Ngii,” she said.
Last Saturday, Gati proved her prowess by winning the Athletics Kenya World Under 20 trials in 49:14.8 at the Nyayo Stadium.
“I’m back to the drawing board and intensifying my training if I am to medal in Colombia,” said Gati, who has been training in Nandi County under national U20 head coach Robert Ngisirei.
“My switch from Kisii to Nandi has been of great impact.
Nandi is a high-altitude area and training from there has taught me the art of endurance.”
The 19-year-old also acknowledged Ngisirei’s efforts in her win on Saturday, where she obliterated the field to finish more than three minutes ahead of her closest challenger, Jacinta Muteu (53:31.7).
“My coach has been my greatest support system through his advice and unique training tactics. Saturday’s race was not easy because of the bad weather but I thank God that I finished the race successfully,” said Gati.
The Form Three student at Cheptonon Secondary School expressed her excitement after making it in Team Kenya for the second time in a row.
“This is my second time being selected for the national team and I am very happy. I want to go to Colombia, perform well and come back with a medal,” Gati said.
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