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Sprinter Mark Otieno remains hopeful of attaining qualification time for the Tokyo Olympics. PHOTO/Timothy Olobulu

Athletics

Sprinter Mark Otieno still optimistic of first ever Olympic qualification

NAIROBI, Kenya, Apr 17 – Kenyan sprinter Mark Otieno says he will relentlessly keep chasing for a first ever qualification to the Olympic Games after coming extremely close at a meet in Zambia last weekend.

Otieno ran a personal best time of 10.11secs in the 100m, shaping off 0.03 seconds off his personal best but came short of the required 10.05 to qualify for the Olympics.

“I am very hopeful despite the fact that training has been very tough and difficult. But the results and times I am posting are giving me hope that I am getting very close,” Otieno stated.

On his fast time in Zambia; “I had worked hard to try and get a good time in Zambia and despite failing to meet the qualifying time, I am still happy that I ran a personal best time. I have been trying to lower that mark since 2017 and I feel great to have gone lower. Hopefully now after that something great will happen.”

Otieno who competed at the 2017 World Championships in London is looking to add an Olympic feather to his cap and stands in the way of becoming the first Kenyan sprinter to ever grace the games.

But, with time running out, Otieno is hopeful that he can get a race to compete and try to achieve that time.

He is currently concentrating on preparing for the World Relays where he is part of the Kenyan team heading to Poland and after that he will switch his attention to try and get a race to clock the required 10.05 for the Olympics.

“At the moment there is kind of a mist in terms of the events but after the World Relays, I will definitely try look for an even to help me qualify. Hopefully the African Championships in Algeria will be held and I can try go and qualify from there but we are also looking for other races,” Otieno added.

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The only other person to ever run a faster time than Otieno in the 100m is 25-year old Ferdinand Omanyala who clocked 10.01 in a meet in Nigeria, but the same has been thrown into controversy with the legitimacy of the race and his past doping ban pulling him back in a tussle with Athletics Kenya.

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