Mark Otieno is a Kenyan sprinter who competes in 100m and 200m. He is the former 100m national champion. This weekend, Mark will be among the Kenyan athletes lining up at the World Athletics Relays, competing in 4x200. Mark’s current time in 100m is 10.17secs while Olympic qualifying standard is 10.05. While he is striving to get a good result in the relays, the sprinter’s ultimate dream is qualifying for his first ever Olympic Games. We talked to him about his journey as a sprinter.
Q: Why sprinting?
A: I decided to be a sprinter because it is a calling from God and it is a passion I have had for a long time ever since I was in school. It is something I have been looking forward to, as a career path.
Q: What was the major reason for you to take it up as a profession?
A: My major reason is – I remember watching Usain Bolt world records in 2008 in Beijing. That made me have more the passion of doing sprints and I had it in me. I kept thinking about it and after high school, I decided that this is the path I want to take.
Q: How would you convince someone to watch you at the Olympic game?
A: I seek more support. When we go out there, people should know Kenya has sprinters not only long distance runners. For our long distance runners to be noticed by people, it is not only because of their wins, but also because of the publicity they get. For me, if I am out there and being seen more often, someone will notice and be able to support and cheer me on.