NAIROBI, Kenya, Jul 7 – Air rifle sports shooter Priscilla Wangui says qualifying for the Paris Olympics in 2024 will be the pinnacle of her career and a historic feat.
The Kenya Police College instructor narrowly missed out on last year’s Tokyo Olympics despite garnering the minimum qualification score at the International Sports Shooting Federation World Cup in New Delhi, India.
“Champions are people who keep doing what they do until they get it right. I really feel happy to see that a sport that I am so passionate about is being honoured. Many of us in our group dream of making it to the Olympics. I am hoping that I will be one of the first shooters to qualify for Paris,” Wangui said.
First things first, however, Wangui will be in action at the ISSF World Cup in Changwon, South Korea on July 9-21.
She will be accompanied by Maurice Morara who will be competing in the air pistol category.
Although she admitted that the pressure in South Korea will be palpable, Wangui said she is ready for the task ahead and will be focused on gaining momentum ahead of the World Championship in Cairo, Egypt in October this year.
“The pressure will be there considering this is a huge event that comprises the best players from all over the world. We have the Olympians and the champions and so it is a big deal. But we have also prepared well and are ready to better our result from the last World Cup, which was held in Egypt,” Wangui said.
A good result in Asia will be the perfect foundation for her quest for Olympic qualification and Wangui is looking forward to gleaning valuable lessons from the tournament.
“It is not an Olympic qualifier but nonetheless it is a big deal. For us, this World Cup is an opportunity to prepare for the World Championship, which is the first stage towards qualifying for the Olympics. It will help us know what we need to improve on, where we are and what we need to do to enhance our chances of qualification,” Wangui, awarded the Order of Grand Warrior (OGW) in 2018, said.
She is also one of 11 beneficiaries of the Paris 2024 Scholarship scheme by National Olympic Committee-Kenya (NOCK), which seeks to aid athletes’ preparations in various disciplines for the quadrennial event.
Wangui pinpointed the difference the scholarship has made in her training.
“I worked hard for the scholarship. I didn’t get it on a silver platter. Sports shooting is quite expensive and to have these expenses catered for allows me to concentrate on my training without worrying about the lack of resources. I am grateful for it,” she said.