Africa High Jump champion Matthew Sawe starts a busy season with this weekend’s Diamond League (DL) leg in Rabat, Morocco where he intends to set the tone for the season in his first major outdoor meet of the year.
Sawe broke his own national record of 2.25, thrice, to set a height of 2.30 in June last year during the Kenya Defence Forces (KDF) athletics championships.
He cleared2.26m in his first attempt then 2.28m and finally 2.30m. He had a dismal outing in Gold Coast, managing a 2.15 but later defended his African title with a 2.30 jump in Asaba, Nigeria.
In Rabat, the France-based high jumper will be up against a field of nine high ranked athletes with his season best (SB) of 2.20 the lowest on the strong field.
“I have only been in two events this year and one of them was an indoor competition.
Rabat will be my first main event of the season and I am out to test what my body can achieve as I start a busy season that is likely to conclude in November.
“Only after Rabat can I talk about improving my Personal Best (PB) or even breaking the African record,” said Sawe.
The 30-year-old set his SB last month in Cergy-Pontoise, France just three months after improving his indoor record from 2.22 to 2.24 in Val-de-Reuil.
“I am in good shape and my training has been good. Only two of my competitors in Rabat have cleared 2.30 this season and that gives me confidence as I head out to Morocco,” added Sawe.
The African champion will head to Kenya from Morocco where he will take part in the National trials set for June 20 to 22 as Athletics Kenya (AK) selects a team to the Africa Games that will be held from August 23 to September 3 in Casablanca, Morocco.
The soldier will have less than two weeks to rest before taking on his colleagues at the KDF athletics championship slated for July 4-6.
“I am looking forward to competing at home as good things happen there. I am also hopeful that several of us will qualify for the All Africa games in high jump and get more of us exposed to that level of competition,” he said.
Sawe has three more Diamond League meets lined up as well as the World Championships that begin on September 28 through to October 6 in Doha, Qatar.
“AK presented my name for qualification to the World championship and I am glad their request was granted and I already have my ticket to the Doha games thanks to that 2.30 jump in Asaba last year,” said an elated Sawe who will also have the World Military Games, slated for October 15-30 in China, to look forward to.