NAIROBI, Kenya – Kenya medal hopeful Edward Zakayo has more reasons than many to make it in athletics as he seeks to add to his nation’s medal tally on Sunday when the Nairobi 2017 IAAF World Under 18 Championships (WU18) draw to a close.
Zakayo who will compete in the final of the boys’ 3000m at the Moi International Sports Centre, Kasarani turned to the sport as an escape route from biting poverty.
The Kenyan crossed the line in 8:04.85 to win the second semi final of the boys’ 3000m showdown on Friday to stake a claim as one of the medal favourites.
The Form 3 student at Kapsait Secondary School shed tears at the sight of a his bare-footed mother who turned up at Kasarani to give him moral support when he stepped onto the track for his race.
“I have to do it for my mother and family. They have sacrificed everything for me to be at this stage,” said the rising star that led from start to finish said.
“I want to win on Sunday and secure a good manager and contract to start paying our bills. I also want to get money to help me pay my school fees. But most importantly, I want to lift my mother from poverty,” Zakayo underscored.
Having previously trained in sandals made from used tyres, popularly known as ‘akala’, the budding runner is determined to make his name at the WU18 as a gateway to better life.
“In my life, the only thing I know is struggle or the world will eat you. That remains my motto,” he added.
Stanley Waithaka Mburu, who reached the finals after clocking 7:59.54 in the first semi final is the other Kenyan in the boys’ 3000m final.