Kenya/Botswana: Hellen Syombua Bows Out of Tokyo Olympics, Botswana Great Montsho Retires

In Tokyo

Kenya's sole representative in the women's 400 metres, Hellen Syombua, bowed out of the Tokyo Olympics at the first hurdle on Tuesday.

The national record holder finished fifth in Heat 5 after timing 52.70.

Jamaica's Stephenie Ann McPherson won the heat in 50.89 with Natalie Kaczmarek (51.06) and Paola Moran (51.18) finishing second and third respectively to secure the automatic qualification slots to the semi-finals.

Syombua was aiming to become the first Kenyan woman to get into the semi-finals of the Olympics Games in the 400m.

With 24 going through to the semi-finals, Syombua was ranked 32nd in the field of 46 competitors.

She said her dream in the one-lap race was far from over.

"This is my first Olympics and I'm happy with my performance so far," she said.

"There's a lot to look forward to including the Commonwealth Games and World Championships next year so I will still focus on the 400 metres."

Meanwhile, Botswana's former world champion Amantle Montsho also failed to progress and announced her retirement after a stellar career that saw her win the world title in 2013 in Moscow, Russia.

"I'm old now. I'm 38 and this is my last competition," she said.

"I don't know what I'm going to do, but I will go back home and plan my next move...maybe I will bet into coaching."

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