By Samantha Bishop, World-Track
After shaking off the bugs and getting her season up and running with a dominant victory in Belgium last week, Olympic champion Pamela Jelimo now targets a place on the Kenyan 800m team to Berlin.
A setback in December had Jelimo running on rocky roads, following two unfavourable placings at the Rabat Super Grand Prix and the Prefontaine Classic in Eugene, where she finished sixth and last.
However, the 19-year-old bounced back to winning form last week at the KBC Night of Athletics in Belgium, with a 1:59.59 dominating performance to win her specialty and she is now confident her form is good enough to win her spot on the Kenyan team to the world championships next month.
"I am focusing on doing well and be in the Kenya team," Jelimo said in The Standard. "Winning will make me very happy, but I intend to be among the top two for selection."
"After winning in Belgium, I was very happy to be competing well against my colleagues once again. It made me realise that I’m okay. I was sad reading ‘Jelimo has run to the Wooden Spoon’.
"My body is responding well and what I’m working on is to see whether I can be in my (last year’s) shape ahead of Berlin," she added.
Her early season performances left many fearful of a slump, but Jelimo explained the reasons behind the slow start.
"My preparations have started late this year. After recovery from injury, I resumed my training in March. I decided to test myself in Rabat and things there were bad," the Olympic champion and Golden League US$1 million winner from last year said.
"I then travelled to Oregon and it was even worse. Those performances were very painful but I took them as something normal and returned home to train."
Jelimo owns a personal best of 1:54.01, achieved during a 12-race undefeated streak last year, and anything near that form in 2009 should certainly be strong enough to win the Berlin title.