Kenya's Simader targets medal at 2022 Beijing Winter Games

Source: Xinhua| 2019-07-05 19:49:56|Editor: Xiaoxia
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NAIROBI, July 5 (Xinhua) -- Kenyan skier Sabrina Wanjiku Simader says she has better prospects to clinch a medal at the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympic Games in China.

Simader, Kenya's sole representative at the 2018 Winter Games in South Korea, has earned an International Olympic Committee (IOC) scholarship to train for the games starting in November to boost her preparations for the Winter Olympics in Beijing.

The reigning African Alpine skier, who is also the second-ever winter Olympian from Kenya after Paul Boit, says she is hopeful to clinch a podium finish in Beijing.

"I will compete in the Winter Olympic Games in Beijing in the Super Giant Slalom race and my preparations are going on well. But I ask the government to support new talent interested to take up the sport due to the high cost of the sport," Simader said in Nairobi.

"I had to do away with my manager at the end of 2018 because of the high cost."

Simader trains with the Austria national team and missed out on the medal podium in 2018 winter Games by just five seconds. She hopes also to compete at the World Championships in 2020.

"My goal is to make it under 30. I also target this year to make my first World Cup points. When you are under the top 30 you make the World Cup points and that is my target for the upcoming season," she says.

The 21-year-old holds the country's hopes and dreams at the Winter Games, despite Kenya not having the conditions for skiing.

Her effort to get into the right shape for the games, has been boosted when she was confirmed as a winner for the scholarship in November to aid in her training for the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics. She has won Slovenian and African Alpine Skiing Championships held in Madonna di Campiglio, Italy.

"Winter sports are very expensive and I am thankful to NOCK for the scholarship and I hope other corporate entities can come on board. I really need financial support. We are travelling the whole year for international races worldwide. The NOCK Scholarship will help my preparations," said Simader.

Kenya hopes to build its winter sport team around the experience of Simader and National Olympic Committee of Kenya (NOCK) Secretary General Francis Mutuku said they will do everything to support her course.

"Lack of funds has limited the number of our athletes that compete at international levels hence no exposure. We have to invest in them ahead of the World Championships and Olympics," added Mutuku.