Hong Kong-based marathon champion Kenneth Mungara believes only hard work and strength will get him the gold at the Commonwealth Games, which run in Gold Coast, Australia from April 4-15.
It will be the fourth time that Mungara will be running in the Australian city, having won the Gold Coast marathon twice in 2015 and 2016 and finishing second in last year’s race.
However, the 44-year-old says only training hard will elevate him to the top as he returns to the city next week as part of the Kenyan marathon team for the Games, which are only open to countries that were former colonies of Britain.
“These completions are different from the normal city marathon because everyone running is a winner and will be followed by their countries. It is about the training for the race and then racing well. This is the last shot I have on winning a medal for Kenya and I will take my aim very well,” he warned.
Kenya has a rich reservoir of top names to pick from and the selection of Mungara raised many eyebrows. But the veteran marathon who has won over 15 races in his career, believes it will be a good way to sign off.
“I always wanted to run for Kenya and it is coming very late in my career. I know it will be hard to secure another call and that is why I want to give it the best. I have run there before and know the streets, but history will favor nobody,” he said.
A former barber, the veteran runner swapped the scissors for sneakers after cutting the hair of other athletes.
“I believed I could run well,” Mungara said. “I watched other runners coming to my barber shop, I observed them, and I thought I can beat them in running. That is how it all started.”
Mungara, alongside his teammates Julius Nderitu and Nicholas Kamakya, will be out to reclaim Kenya’s title which was lost to Australia’s Michael Shelley at the Glasgow 2014 Games.