When I think about these championships, many mixed feelings come over me: relief, disappointment, joy, discouragement, but also hope. All of these feelings somewhat summarize all the emotional stages I went through. These world championships were, for me, the main goal of my season. And this is something that is not easy to manage because the success of my season depended on whether or not these championships went well. People only see the final result and don’t realize all the work, as well as all the sacrifice, it takes to get there.
These championships were my third individual participation in the 100 m hurdles. I first took part in 2011 in Daegu (South Korea). Unfortunately, I did not get past the first round because indeed, my time was not fast enough to reach the semifinals. I took it as a first experience since I was really motivated for the next world championships. And here we are, two years later, I am in Moscow (Russia). At these championships, some progress had been made because I passed the first round to reach the semifinals. That was already an achievement. However, during my semifinal, I fell because I hit the eighth hurdle. Which brings us to 2015 in the famous “Bird’s Nest” in Beijing (China). I reached the semifinals and finished 11th in the overall ranking. I am satisfied with this result. However, I missed my original goal of making the top eight by two one hundredths of a second.
With feelings conflicted between satisfaction at my result and disappointment at not having made the top eight, I returned to Brussels, where my mother had made my favourite dish for me: Chicken Moambe. What a nice surprise! This African dish with chicken, rice and palm oil has always been a favourite of mine. Perfect for regaining energy after the championships.
What I have taken away from these championships is that I’m getting closer and closer to the best in the world, meaning to the top eight. Being aware of one’s talent and potential is one thing, but to actually be able to show it on the track on the big day is another. It is during a gathering such as the world championships that the world’s cream of the crop is brought together. It is then that we all face the same weather and other conditions as equals, and you would think that it is the fastest person who wins, but this is not the case. It is the person who is best able to manage the various components of a championship event such as stress, media pressure, mental strength, concentration, weather conditions and physical condition who wins. I would like to have already reached the top eight this year, but it never materialized. However, I realize that I reproach myself for it more and more with each season, which is why I train hard every day.
I am not discouraged because I know that one day my time will come. In the meantime, back to work!
Here is the recipe for Chicken Moambe – I suggest you try it, it’s really good!
CHICKEN MOAMBE RECIPE
Ingredients for four people:
Four chicken breasts
Soup of palm oil
One bunch of white onions
One cube of vegetable broth
Cut the chicken into pieces and fry with five tablespoons of palm oil in a large saucepan. Add two cloves of finely chopped garlic. Season with salt and pepper to your own taste.
Then, cut the tomato and the stems of the bunch of onions and stir them in with the chicken. You can also add vegetable broth to the mixture to give it more flavour.
Let everything simmer gently for about 35 min.
When it is ready, you can serve it with white rice.