NAIROBI (Xinhua) --
South Sudanese athlete Dominic
Lokinyomo Lobalu is keen to live his dreams and win a medal at
the World Championships in Doha, Qatar in October.
20-year-old is part of a group of 30 training and living at the
Loroupe camp training under the Athlete Refugee Team.
The Loroupe camp has been funded, in part since 2014, through
a grant from the IAAF’s Athletics for a Better World program.
"I want to be the first refugee to get a medal," Lokinyomo
told Global athletics governing body IAAF. "That’s more
important than anything else."
Though he was not good enough to make the inaugural Refugee
Olympic team to the Rio 2016 games, Lokinyomo is training with
his eyes on the highest achievement and will want to push his
body to attain it in 2019.
This will be 12-years since Lokinyomo arrived in Kenya
following years of unrest and civil war in South Sudan.
Lokinyomo wound up in an orphanage for a time until 2007
when, with the help of an Italian NGO, he eventually made it
across the border to Kenya.
He later joined up with Tegla Loroupe camp in Nairobi and has
since been training.
Last weekend, there was a glimpse of what to expect at the
Athletics Kenya Cross Country Series meeting in Kisii when
Lokinyomo finished eighth in the men’s senior race, covering the
hilly 10km course in 29:31 to finish just over half a minute
behind winner Richard Kimunyan.
"His future looks bright," Kenyan national team coach Julius
Lokinyomo’s run was arguably one of the most notable
performances since the refugee team project, spearheaded by the
Tegla Loroupe Peace Foundation and the Tegla Loroupe Training
Camp for Athlete Refugees in Ngong, Kenya, which made its
international debut in 2016.
For his part, Lokinyomo was pleased, but also seemingly
unfazed having run together with his teammate and squad captain
"It was not really that bad. We just kept pushing it until
the final lap," Lokinyomo said.
"I am going back to even more serious training in Ngong and I
will work with my coaches to refine my skill."
Lokinyomo is already a veteran of three international refugee
team appearances, part of a fledgling career that seemed beyond
any realm of possibility a decade ago.