Babalu on a two-year-self training program
SHE was once hailed as the country’s golden girl in track and field. Dubbed Solomon Islands’ very own athletics princess after scooping gold at the 2009 Pacific Mini Games in Cook Islands as a 11-year-old, Betty Babalu now 16 is back stamping her feet on the roads doing what she loves most, ‘running long distances bare-footed.’
In an exclusive interview with Star Sports, Babalu said that having been out of the athletics limelight for the past two to three years, Betty is again running the roads of Auki town in Malaita Province, committing herself to her very own two-year-intensive training program.
“Having had difficulties with my personal life that has been a contributing factor and distraction in me loosing focus on the sport I love, I thought that I had given up running two years ago.
“I somehow fell out of love with the sport, and wanted something else in my life.
“However giving up was never easy as I tried everything humanly possible to stay away but could not.
“It was like something that was part of me was missing, the urge and eagerness to compete again was haunting me the past two years. That was when I realize that I cannot lose the sport but rather will try everything in my power to again succeed in it,” Betty said.
Betty, who carried the hopes of the country as an 11-year-old to the Pacific Games in Noumea, New Caledonia in 2010 after scooping gold in the 5000m and silver at the 10000 a year before, was somehow overshadowed by her rivals.
“I still remember like it was yesterday. I carried the hopes of the country as an 11-year-old though I never felt like I was at all prepared. It showed in the results as I lost out on medals to my rivals,” Betty said.
Despite other disappointments in her downfall as a promising young athlete, Betty said that personal trails, traumas and hardships were the reason behind such downfall, however adding that she has now grown mature and have learnt to deal with it all.
“I think I have grown out of the person I was five or six years ago. I have matured and I have this urge to test myself and compete with myself until I am satisfied with my development before competing with others though it be nationally or internationally,” she said.
Betty has designed herself a two-year-self training program which she said would not involve her competing in any events until she is satisfied with her progress.
“I have set myself this two-year- training time frame which will involve intensive training both physically and mentally.
“I am committed to completing this program before I can see if I am fit to compete in national and international events. However before then I will concentrate on my program,” she said.
With help from some of her local coaches in Auki, Betty has already started this program early this year, adding that it would not be long until the country again starts seeing her back on track.
By JEREMY INIFIRI