Joyce Zakari broke Kenya’s national women’s 400m record at the IAAF World Athletics Championships in Beijing, China.
Zakari posted a time of 50:71 to lower the 51.14 time she set in at the Kenyan national trials on July 11, 2015 at the Safaricom Stadium in Nairobi when she shattered Ruth Waithera’s 30 year old record.
Zakary who was eighth fastest in qualifying, even faster than veteran champions Christine Ohuruogu (51:01) and Natasha Hastings (51:52) during the heats in the Chinese capital.
This is the second national women’s 400m record to be broken on foreign soil, the first being Waithera at the Olympic Games in Los Angeles, USA in 1984.
In 2007, Elizabeth Muthuka of Kenya Prisons at the AK national championships first lowered Waithera’s record to 51.53 before she set the 50.82 mark in 400m to qualify for the Beijing Olympics at Olympic trials at Nyayo stadium.
Consequently, the athlete whose A and B blood samples tested positive for anabolic steroid Nandrolone, was slapped with a two-year ban by AK.
Zakari stopped the timer at 51.85 to finish third behind the winner United States’ Francena McCorony (50.78) and runner up, Britain’s Christine Ohuruogu (50.80) in the first heat of the race to reach the semi finals .
Zakari timed 52.95 to finish last and get eliminated in the first semi final, slower compared to the 51.85 she posted in the heats in a race which had the likes of Ohuruogu and American Sanya Richards-Ross, the 2008 bronze medallist and 2009 World champion.