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Quick-silver Jelimo sets the bar in 800m

By Vision Reporter

Added 12th August 2008 03:00 AM

KENYAN Pamela Jelimo, who runs the 800m, is like a storm — in both ways.
If you are one of her many helpless competitors, as yet unable to cope with her blistering pace, she’s … well, quick. If, on the other hand, you are one of the off-field spectators, like the rest of us, she can blow

KENYAN Pamela Jelimo, who runs the 800m, is like a storm — in both ways.
If you are one of her many helpless competitors, as yet unable to cope with her blistering pace, she’s … well, quick. If, on the other hand, you are one of the off-field spectators, like the rest of us, she can blow

Charles Mutebi

KENYAN Pamela Jelimo, who runs the 800m, is like a storm — in both ways.
If you are one of her many helpless competitors, as yet unable to cope with her blistering pace, she’s … well, quick. If, on the other hand, you are one of the off-field spectators, like the rest of us, she can blow you away.

For everyone who is yet to see the 18-year-old in action, here’s a brief description of how she’s been going about her 800m races: start quick, stay quick and finish quick.Obviously, for her competitors used to the traditional approach — start with moderate pace but pounce at the home strait — the race is over by the half-way stage. She’s that dominant.

Recent convert
Pity her compatriot and current world champion Janeth Jepkosgei, who played a huge role in persuading the teenager to drop the 400m for the two-lap race. Just goes to show, by the way, that be careful what you wish for.

The two have raced against each other five times on the European Golden League circuit and the result has been the same every time, meaning that along with Croatian high jumper Blanka Vlasic, Jelimo is still in contention to win the Jackpot with only two meets left.

Jepkosgei, just 24, was meant to dominate the 800m for years to come after her superior triumph in the World Athletics Championships in Osaka last year but now all of that seems like a bad joke — thanks to Jelimo.

And on the back of Jelimo’s form, Jepkosgei should not expect more than silver in the Olympics. Gold seems like the next chronological conquest for the daughter of Rodah Jeptoo Keter, whose promising athletics dream was cut short by early marriage.

Dedicated to her mother

Jelimo has promised to make up for her mother’s shortcomings the only way she knows how.
“I am going to do my best in Beijing and improve where my mother did not reach,” she explained of her widowed mum.

That said, the fourth child of nine would have already gone some way in placating a huge chunk of her mother’s frustrations.
She begun racing five years ago but it wasn’t until last year that Jelimo begun making the news.

That year, she won 400m gold medal at the African Junior Championships and set a 200m Kenyan national junior record (24.68).
She, amazingly, made her forage into 800m just three months ago at the Kenyan trials for the African championships. Since then it’s been uphill for her.

She set a new national junior record, 1:58.70, at the 2008 African Athletics Championships.One month and six days later, she won 800m at the Hengelo Grand Prix and set a new junior world record of 1:55.76. Six days later, she set a new African record, 1:54.99, at the Berlin Golden League.

The previous African record (1:55.19) was set by Maria Mutola in 1994. On July 18, 2008 she bettered that record to 1:54.97 in Paris. Now, it’s China-time!

Quick-silver Jelimo sets the bar in 800m

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