Athletics: Marilyn Okoro – The Moment

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It’s the semi-final of the women’s 800m at the Birds Nest Stadium, Beijing. Britain’s Marilyn Okoro, is fancied to make it to the Olympic final. And as the race pans out, with 200m to go, she is perfectly placed to make her bid, for a final qualifying place.

At 200m, the moment comes for her to go. It’s that moment. No other. The race is there for her. Right there. Assert herself, and make her mark on the race. But, she misses the moment. And the field has gone. At this level, its a fatal mistake.

The moment calls for decisiveness. But, for some reason, Marilyn Okoro, experiences indecision. Somehow, she doesn’t trust her racing instinct. She waits to see what her rivals do. But, to compete successfully in the Olympic Games, you cannot wait for what others do. For they won’t wait for you. You have to commit, when the moment comes to commit.

It means having a very clear race plan. It also means, that you run without being inhibited by fear of failure. Or the inhibition or fear of letting people down. These inhibitions, lead to anxieties and self-doubts, that create indecision.

Marilyn Okoro, had the talent to compete in the 800m final. But, perhaps what she hadn’t recognised, was the effect the pressure of the Olympics would have, on her race-thinking. Its a painful experience, loaded with critical learning.