Marie-Josée Ta Lou in Kenya for Safaricom Soya Awards

  • World’s top-ranked sprinter, Marie-Josée Ta Lou, landed at the Moi International Airport in Mombasa on Wednesday.

    According to reports, Ta Lou is in the country as the chief guest for Safaricom Sports Personality of the Year Awards (Soya) which will be held on Friday.

    The sprinter finished last season at the top of the 100m world rankings having run four of the 10 fastest times, including a personal best of 10.85 at the season-opening Doha Diamond League meeting on May 4.

    Ta Lou was excited at having come back to Kenya for the first time since 2010 when she competed at the African Athletics Championships at the Nyayo National Stadium, where she finished sixth in the semi-finals (12.16).

    She first burst into prominence in 2010 after she finished second in the 100m at the Gabriel Tiacoh track and field meet held in Abidjan clocking 12.10 seconds.

    Ta Lou later won a 100m and 200m double at the Ivorian national championships which saw her qualify for the Nairobi continental championships.

    She will also integrate her visit to Mombasa with light training at the scenic coast.

    She has set her eyes on the world championships to be held in Doha in October, where she hopes to improve on her 100m and 200m silver medals from the 2017 World Championships. 

    The 30-year-old Cote d’Ivoire sprinter was received at the airport by Mombasa County’s sports executive Kyalo Munywoki (center) and sports chief officer Rajab Babu.

    On Thursday, she is expected to pay a courtesy call on Mombasa Governor Hassan Joho before meeting Kenya Ports Authority (KPA) Managing Director Daniel Manduku and touring the port of Mombasa.

    She will then train at KPA’s Mbaraki grounds where she will also offer tips to upcoming sprinters in a mini-clinic courtesy of KPA.

    Munywoki paid tribute to the athlete for accepting to officiate at the Soya Gala saying her presence will motivate the young and upcoming athletes in the Coast region.