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Bendere Oboya steps into 800m unknown

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Steve Larkin / AAP News

 

The Gold Coast 2018 Team Member and Tokyo Olympian is taking on her first competitive 800m race at the Adelaide Invitational.

 

Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games and Tokyo Olympic runner Bendere Oboya is more excited than nervous about stepping into the unknown on Saturday night.

The national 400 metres champion will race her first competitive 800m at the Adelaide International.

“I am not nervous, more excited, because it’s going to be totally different,” Oboya told AAP on Friday.

“I am excited because I am feeling good at training and want to see what I have got.

“Obviously the 800 is so different from the 400, it’s so tactical.

“I am just excited to see, for example, if after that first lap I am tired afterwards or if I am still fine or how I feel after the race in general.

“It’s a really big unknown.”

Oboya moved to Melbourne after last year’s Tokyo Olympics to become the first female to join the renowned middle-distance program of coach Justin Rinaldi, who also oversees the likes of Peter Bol, Jeff Riseley and Joseph Deng.

Bol, who finished fourth in the Tokyo 800m final, will also race in Adelaide at a meet also featuring Commonwealth Games and Olympic sprinters Rohan Browning (men’s 100m) and Riley Day (women’s 100m and 200m).

And just how Oboya fares in her switch to the 800m will be fascinating even for the 21-year-old, who believes the longer event can only benefit her 400m which she will continue to race.

“I am still learning how to pace myself … I don’t really know what is going to happen,” she said of the two-lap event.

“That is why I am excited to run, just to figure things out on the way.

“I just have to go out there and learn from it and we will see what happens in the next couple of years.”

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