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XINHUA NEWS SERVICE REPORTS FROM THE AFRICAN CONTINENT

 
Kenya’s Simader seeks to improve on Boit’s show
as Kenyan eyes first medal at Winter Olympics

NAIROBI (Xinhua) -- Kenya’s Sabrina Wanjiku Simader has impressed many by her technique, skills and speed in skiing and will be the focal point as the Winter Olympic Games kick off in PyeongChang on Friday.

However, to others Simader remains another minnow trying to punch above her weight. Well, only time will tell as expectant Kenyans dream of their first ever medal at the Games.

Indeed, Simader’s qualification for the Games was not given as was the case for Kenya’s first man Philip Boit in Nagano, Japan. She gained her ticket after competing in the World Championships last February.

She also represented Kenya at the 2016 Winter Youth Olympics in Norway, when she came in the top 25 of all three disciplines she competed in. Now she has her eyes trained at the medal stand in PyeongChang and not any stares critics will deter her.

“Stares give me a push,” she said. “That I can make it. I can prove myself.”

The 19-year-old, who is based in Austria, will compete in women’s super-G and giant slalom at the Games.

And unlike Boit who made history to be the first man from Kenya to compete at the Games and finished last at his debut in Nagano in the 10km cross-country skiing, Wanjiru is keen to win a medal.

“My dream is to win a medal. I want to give a good performance, which will help me become a professional in the discipline,” she said.

However, the world has always taken for granted skiers from African nations. Most Africans are looked on as amateurs at the Olympic Games but for Wanjiku, she is throwing down the gauntlet and aiming for the medals and wish her away on your own peril.

“PyeongChang will be my springboard. I want to become a professional skier and nobody should take this as a joke. Hopefully my performance will speak for me,” she added.

The Kenyan has taken on challenging and dangerous speed disciplines, downhill and Super G in her adopted home in Vienna.

           

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