Bahamas, July 23, 2017(GCDC) - Bendere Oboya grinned like a laid-back Aussie, yet ran with the genes of her Ethiopian birthplace to announce herself as a fresh 400m star in the Bahamas
The 17-year-old from Pendle Hill High in Sydney’s west didn’t even know how to find a coach 18 months ago yet is suddenly a legitimate selection chance for the Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast in April.
Oboya produced a big personal best of 52.69 sec to post a B qualifying time for the Commonwealth Games when she pipped Queensland favourite Ella Connolly (52.72) in the final metres of the one-lap final at the Commonwealth Youth Games.
She chopped .33 sec off per previous best but the bigger tale is that she has come from nowhere with huge untapped potential for coach Greg Smith to harness inside her flyweight 45kg chassis.
Only American Arria Minor has run faster at Under-18 level anywhere in the world this year and the major breakthrough for Oboya is still sinking in.
“I’m still learning to run a 400m properly because I didn’t even know how race or find a coach 18 months ago when I was running like 1 min 15 sec,” Oboya said.
“This just feels amazing to get a massive PB in an international race. I’m still processing it in my head.”
Oboya was brought to Australia as a three-year-old by mother Akech, who works in a chicken processing factory, and father Opamo to find the family a more stable life and opportunities.
“My parents were searching for a better life,” Oboya said.
“My Ethiopian genes are probably most of it when I run because I’ll admit I’m not really strong because I haven’t started in the gym yet.
“Hearing the Australian anthem was wonderful ... I consider I’ve accomplished something for not just me but my country.”
Extrovert Sydney giant Alex Kolesnikoff, 16, provided extra excitement with his sixth and final launch of the shot put producing a gold medal at 19.76m.
The Trinity Grammar schoolboy is a towering 130kg and harnessed the right mojo to overtake Kiwi Nick Palmer.
“I put some ice down my singlet, woke up and just knew I had to produce a good throw,” Kolesnikoff said. Congratulation to fantastic young Anyuak's girl and we all wish her the best and good luck for her future success. (Source: The Courier Mail)