Viola Lagat is excited about representing Kenya at the forthcoming Olympics Games alongside her older brother, Bernard Lagat, who will be making his fifth stab at the Games.
While the 41-year-old Bernard will be wearing the colours of his adopted nation, the United States, his younger sister and training partner in Arizona where they live will be making her second appearance for Kenya’s national team at a global event.
Viola, 27, who made her debut at last year’s IAAF World Championship in Beijing, China, will be looking for a podium finish alongside Faith Chepng’etich and Nancy Chepkwemoi in the women’s 1,500m race.
Ironically, Bernard still holds the Kenyan record in the 1,500m, but he has since graduated to the longer 5,000m race where he will be hoping to strike glory for the US in Rio Di Janeiro when the games begin on August 5. They end on August 21.
A sociology and psychology graduate from Florida State University, Viola is looking to improve on her poor show in Beijing where she was eliminated in the preliminaries. “It’s amazing and a dream come true for our family to be at the Olympics at the same time.
Last year my brother had an injury and missed the World Championship when I made my national team debut.
On the doping allegations that have rocked Kenya in the past few years, the former St Monica High School student is requesting Kenyan fans to trust the team and give them a chance to represent them well in Rio.
“It’s not right to say everyone is doping in Kenya, but there are always some people who try to take shortcuts to success,” she said.