Bendere Oboya is Australia’s next female sprinting sensation. She was recently unveiled as a member of the Australian Olympic team, despite having run a qualifying time in the 400m all the way back in 2019.
Oboya took her running to the next level at the Doha 2019 World Championships, running a blistering 51.21 to be ranked 13th in the world.
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Despite the early taste of success, the 24-year-old is making sure to stay humble and grounded.
When she spoke to The Inner Sanctum, minutes after the team announcement and just hours after her national championships, Oboya was still in a state of disbelief.
“This morning, that’s when it sunk in. I’ve always wanted this,” she said
“I don’t keep medals, but I’ll be keeping this,” she said clutching the QANTAS boarding pass that the athletes were presented with.
Oboya might be on her way to her first Olympics, but she’s already honing her craft as a vocal leader, acting as a big supporter of all of the other athletes.
“I was one of the first sprinters, and its just kept growing, and I get to welcome everything to the team,” Oboya said with a smile.
She’s not just the vocal welcoming committee though, she’s just one part of a strong positive culture within the Athletics Australia framework.
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“I get so happy every time someone qualified,” Oboya explained.
“I didn’t even know Jye Edwards’ name, but when he qualified, I was screaming. I was on the other side of the field, and I didn’t even know him, but its exciting to see this team grow.”
Oboya has been qualified for Tokyo since 2019, and was looking ahead to the Games since then.
She didn’t let any of the challenges over the past 12 months and COVID-19 lockdowns get to her.
“I really tried to stay positive. It actually did work,” she said.
“Knowing the fact that even if the Olympics didn’t happen, I still wanted to run 50 seconds. Keeping that mindset really did help.”
All that positivity will pay off as she heads to Tokyo. For Bendere Oboya, its just the start.
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