|http://sports.sina.com.cn 2004年08月24日 20:57 新浪体育|
A silver medallist at the Atlanta Olympic Games in 1996, Hezekiel Sepeng is keen to clinch an 800 metres gold medal in Athens.
The South African has come to Greece with one aim in his mind, but the 30-year-old insists that missing out on gold for a third successive Olympics would not be the end of the world.
"I'm hunting the gold medal, so if I win that gold medal I'll be relieved and I'll be happy. I'll be one of those athletes who've achieved what they wanted, but you know it's not all about the gold medal for me. If it doesn't happen, life still goes on for me. I've got two babies at home and my life is more based on them now and if it doesn't happen, I'm just going to give my best. If it doesn't happen, life goes on, but I'm standing a good chance. I'm just going to go out and enjoy it and give my best."
Sepeng is expected to finish amongst the medals, but he rates his rivals highly and knows that he will have to be at his best if he is to succeed at the XXVIII (28th) Olympiad.
Wilfred Kipkemboi is a rising star in the 800 metres, making his mark at the 2001 World Championships, where he finished in second place.
"Since this is going to be my first Olympics, it's really exciting to be here in the first place. However, starting as the favourite also it gives it more pressure than just trying to come here and enjoy, but I'm focused and that is really what is important for me now."
Sepeng and Kipkemboi's duel in the 800 metres promises to be a particularly memorable event - one man's career is winding down, while the other's is in the ascendancy.
But Sepeng is a man on a mission and his desire could be the key to gold.