Motivated Nzembi out to make mark in Commonwealth

After missing out on what would have been her first national duty, a World Cross Country race in 2007 owing to injury, marathoner Hellen Nzembi is intending to make her second time count during this year’s Commonwealth Games which will take place in Gold Coast, Australia from April 4-15.

Nzembi, the 2007 national Cross Country champion, made the national team for the first time in 2007 after winning the national trials for the World Cross Country championship held in Mombasa, but it was not to be after picking an injury in training.

“Even though I was the national champion, and making the team in 2007, I didn’t manage to participate due to an injury I had picked while training in Embu. I was sure of winning gold at that time and now I’m going to make the amends,”Nzembi told Citizen Digital.

“We have been in training for the last four weeks and I can say I have done 50 percent of what I intend in preparations. With six more weeks to go before the race on April 15, I’m sure I will be ready for the challenge,” she added.

Born in Machakos 31 years ago, Nzembi who only started her athletics career after high school has a best time in marathon of 2:35.58, set in Warszawa, Poland on September 28, 2014. She, however, has not been able to come anywhere close to that after finishing 12th in 2017 in Hangzhou Marathon, China, in a time of 2.47:07.

She also registered her best time of 1:13.04 in half marathon in Warszawa, Poland on March 26, 2017.

Nzembi also took time to rally critics to support the team.

She said: “For those who are saying this team is not perfect for the Games, let me assure them that on April 15 we will prove them all wrong.”

Nzembi will be joined by Slovakia’s Kosice Peace Marathon champion Sheila Jerotich and Shelmith Muriuki, the 2016 Mombasa International Marathon Champion.


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