Meeting with ... Meraf Bahta
Updated: Oct 22, 2022
Meraf is one of the first athlete who gave us her confidence, in October 2021. Since April 2022, she is back at our place, and it was the perfect occasion to exchange with her about her love for Kenya, her targets for 2022 season and more.
Meraf, can you introduce yourself in a few words ?
I am Meraf Bahta, an elite runner for Sweden. I have been running since I was a teenager, starting at the age of 15. I have been passionate about this sport for almost 20 years. I found my way in the middle distance. My favorite distances are from 1500m to 10km.
What is your best memory in athletics ?
My best memory in athletics was definitely at the European Team Championships in Zurich in 2014. I won the gold medal for Sweden ahead of Sifan Hassan and Susan Krumins. I also competed for the first time at the Olympic Games in Rio, where I finished as a finalist in 6th place. I have to admit that competing in the Olympics is one of my fondest memories.
What convinced you to come and train in Iten ?
Kenya and mainly Iten a land of champions. Athletics is fully integrated into Kenyan culture. The climate, the altitude and the extraordinary pool of athletes are elements that are conducive to performance.
What are your goals for the 2022 season ?
I came to Iten to start my preparation for the European Championships in Munich (GER) and the World Championships in Eugene (USA), where I will compete in the 5’000m and 10’000m.
You came back at The Swiss Side after a first experience in October 2021. What do you especially like about our training center ?
The Swiss Side is a very good center when you are looking for peace and quietness, which is very important for an athlete to recover. The center is equipped with all the comfort and facilities an athlete can expect when coming to Kenya, especially the cold bath and the massage area. Its very central location in Iten is also an element that made me want to come back.
Meraf Bahta Express:
Meraf Bahta was born in 1989 in Eritrea. Since 2014, she represents Sweden and became European champion the same year over 5’000m in Zürich (Switzerland). She also got several medals at European championships (track and cross-country) in individual and team from 2014 to 2021. In November 2021, right after her last stay at The Swiss Side, she achieved to get the silver medal at European cross-country championship in Dublin.
Some of her PB : 1’500m (4’00’’49), 3’000m (8’37’’50), 5’000m (14’49’’95), 10’000m (31’08’’05), 10km (31’22).