- World Record – 10km (26:24)
- 2019 World Championships bronze medallist.
- 2018 U20 World Championship champion
What has been a defining moment in your career?
Winning the 2018 NYRR’s UAE Healthy Kidney 10km and setting a strong course record of 27:08 was the moment when I realized that maybe others were right, that I had a talent, and could break records. There had always been this voice in my head saying maybe I couldn’t do it, but getting this win and time gave me so much confidence that I just knew I could go faster.
What was the first thought that went through your mind when you heard the Tokyo Olympics had been postponed?
My first thought was that the world is in a tough place and that we must understand that sport is not the priority right now. Of course, it was still difficult to accept and I did go through a few weeks where I felt demotivated – especially as I was out of my normal daily routine. But as always in life, things happen and they also pass, and the same will happen with this pandemic. Now, I am back training and focused on final months of 2020 and on 2021.
What is your greatest extravagance?
I try not have too many extravagances in life, and prefer to stay focused, grounded, and humble in all I do. Very easily something that one enjoys can become something that one gets hurt by.
Which superpower would you like to have?
Being able to teleport from one place to another! I love travelling, but I don’t like the ‘getting there’ part of long flights, airports and many layovers.
When under pressure, what do you say to yourself to help you get through it?
When it comes to racing I like to play out different scenarios in my head – pacing, tactics, what could go wrong and what could go right. Knowing I have prepared for every eventuality helps me stay relaxed. Also, when I feel the pressure I take time to be quiet and to pray which helps keep me calm.
What three things you would take with you if you were to be stranded on a desert island for a year?
Cellphone, solar panel, and a cable to plug my cellphone into a solar panel. [laughs]
(Image credit: RunCzech)