Susan Aneno targets Paris 2024 mark at Los Angeles Grand Prix

Susan Aneno targets Paris 2024 mark at Los Angeles Grand Prix
Susan Aneno is putting recent injury woes behind her to push her dreams to Paris

ATHLETICS | Uganda’s Susan Aneno has set sights on the Paris 2024 Games qualification as she takes to the USATF Los Angeles Grand Prix on Friday May 17.

Aneno, 27, has her work cut out in the women's 800m race but nothing can beat resilience, a virtue she has stocked up on ahead of the US Athletics Track and Field showdown.

The event will see dozens of athletes make their case for the Games that are just 70 days away and Aneno has put a recent knee injury setback away from her mind and into the ice to get her dream on the tartan.

"Training with an injury is never easy," said the US-based middle-distance runner of the setback from December 2023.

"It's both physically and psychologically demanding. I had to put a pause on my training and competitions to focus on recovery and aggressive physiotherapy."

Despite the setback, Aneno remains resilient.

“I've never been injured before, so this was a new experience for me," she says.

"But with the support of my team, physiotherapists, strength coaches, and running coaches, I've been able to progress steadily. It's been a slow journey, but I'm grateful for every step forward."

The African U20 bronze medallist needs to hit the entry standard of 1:59:30 sec for the Paris Olympics.

But she can still qualify on the World Athletics Ranking during the period. Aneno, a top eight in the women's 800m on the continent, is ranked 55th globally.

Since her competition at the 13th All-Africa Games in Ghana, where she finished sixth in a time of 2:04.79, Aneno has participated in three competitive races in the 800m in the US, including the recent Track Fest at Jack Kemp Stadium in Los Angeles, where she finished in a time of 2:03.69.

Looking ahead to the USATF Los Angeles Grand Prix, she acknowledges the tough competition she'll face.

"The 800m in the US is always competitive, but every opportunity to race is a blessing," she said. "My goal is to secure Olympic qualification and achieve a personal and season best."

The road to Paris is paved with challenges, and Aneno is prepared to tackle them head-on. With upcoming races like the Music City Track Carnival and the Portland Track Festival, she remains focused on accumulating points for the world athletics rankings before the Olympic qualification window closes on June 30th.

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