Sprinter Otieno pleased with silver medal won at World Relay
National 100m record holder Mark Otieno was impressed after the men’s 4x200m relay team turned on their style to win silver at the World Relays Championships.
Kenya ranked seventh in the two-day championships that came to a close on Sunday in Silesia, Poland after amassing three medals- two silver and a bronze.
Otieno combined with Mike Mokamba, Elijah Mathew and Hesbon Ochieng as Kenya placed second in a season best of 1:24.26 behind winners Germany who took gold as Portugal sealed the podium with a bronze.
Kenya will face Tanzania, Ghana, Morocco, Egypt and South Africa to get a ticket to participate in the BNP Paribas World Team Cup championship which will double up as an 2020 Olympic qualifier tournament.
“It is really an honour that we won silver in the event. It really shows the hard work we put in as a team,” said Otieno.
Interestingly, Otieno and Mokamba were part of the quartet that finished fourth at the 2019 championships in Yokohama, Japan.
“This year we really wanted a medal, and we are glad this time round we have finally achieved that,” he said.
It was Otieno’s strong start in the race that set the stage for Kenya’s heroics and the athlete says it was his responsibility to ensure the team had the best start if they were to stand any chance of winning a medal.
“Being a leader of the team comes with some pressure since you have to start strongly and ensure the last member of the team receives the button in a good position. I felt we were going for a medal and that is why I had to play my part, likewise to my compatriots and we did it,” he said.
The 27 -year- old said his focus now shifts to the Africa Senior Championships slated for next month in Algeria as he seeks qualification for Tokyo Olympics.
“I am very optimistic this is the year. If all goes well and I earn a slot at the Olympics my target is to reach the finals and who knows maybe I may clinch another silver medal,” averred Otieno.
Kenya’s other silver medal came from the mixed 2x2x400m while the mixed shuttle hurdles team bagged a bronze.
The Kenyan contingent is set to land at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport on Tuesday at 7am aboard a Qatar Airways plane.