April 20, 2016 By Sahr Morris Jr.
Sierra Leone Rio 2016 Olympic Games hopeful, Hafsatu Kamara, got-off to a flying start in her 2016 outdoor campaign by recoding a very fast time of 11.69 seconds and 24.17 seconds respectively in the 100 and 200 metres at the just concluded Mt. Sac Relays in Walnut, California, United States of America.
Kamara, who last represented Sierra Leone at the IAAF World Outdoor Championships in Beijing last August (2015), narrowly missed out on breaking the national 200 meters record set by Eunice Barber.
The 24-year-old’s time of 24.17 seconds could have eclipsed Barber’s record of over 20 years had it not been for the excessive wind of 2.1 m/s. However, she ran the second fastest time by a Sierra Leonean woman athlete in 2016 in the 100 meters after clocking 11.69 seconds which was also wind aided sits. Ngozi Musa’s 11.66 seconds is the national record.
Kamara’s performance saw her join the likes of her countrywomen Ngozi Musa of Harvard University and Maggie Barrie of Ohio State University who have put up some scintillating times lately and could be hopes for Sierra Leone athletics team, which for years has all but disappeared in global competitions.
According to President of the Sierra Leone Diaspora Sports Management Group (SLDMG), Leslie Koroma, Kamara and her teammates present a new ray of hope and some exciting times ahead for Sierra Leone athletics.
He said: “The Sierra Leone National team is hoping that some of these new age athletes will meet the qualifying marks for the Rio Olympic Games and subsequent competitions of the near future. The outlook is bright but support will be badly needed from the community and some corporate bodies within and outside of the country to make the ascent to the top for these eager bunches to excel.”