Ponoka sprinter sets sights for the 2016 Olympics

For many athletes competing in the Olympics is a dream, but for Ponoka’s Isatu Fofanah that dream could well be a reality.

Ponoka sprinter Isatu Fofanah has set her heights on the Rio 2016 Olympics and is working on a funding campaign to help her get there. Her two races are the 100m and 200m sprints.

Ponoka sprinter Isatu Fofanah has set her heights on the Rio 2016 Olympics and is working on a funding campaign to help her get there. Her two races are the 100m and 200m sprints.

For many athletes competing in the Olympics is a dream, but for Ponoka’s Isatu Fofanah that dream could well be a reality.

Fofanah, who grew up and graduated from high school in Ponoka, has set her sights on the Rio de Janeiro, Brazil 2016 Olympics. Her specialty? The 100m and 200m sprints and her chances of making it depend partly on her training and partly on funding.

For some time, Fofanah went to university in the United States but recently announced her decision to return to school in Edmonton and train with her coach Dwight Francis. “I am much more focused and sound, spiritually, and that really helps with my starts in the blocks.”

“It’s not every day you have a shot at making an Olympic team so I am investing my entire life to preparations for that next year,” explained Fofanah.

Getting to such a high level of competition requires some financial backing and Fofanah has been working hard to gain support. Ponoka County council approved a $1,000 donation to Fofanah to help with her efforts.

“I will also be traveling to Europe a few times in the summer to get some more exposure to some big international meets before facing the big Olympic stage. This will give me better exposure to competing at atmospheres that will be similar to that of the Olympic Games and hopefully get me running against fast competitors that will push me to drop my times down and be ready for the Olympics,” she explained.

Fofanah intends to compete at a World Championship in Beijing, China between Aug. 9 to 19 and next summer her intent is to travel to Europe to compete at other track and field events.

For the people who have helped her so far, Fofanah says she is grateful. Without their help she feels she would not have been able to get to such a high level of competition.

Anybody wishing to help Fofana with her plans could visit: http://www.gofundme.com/x6p5ekk.