Florence Wasike

Athlete Profile

    Kenya Kenya
    20 MAR 1979
Florence Wasike in the 400m Hurdles at the Kenyan Prisons champs, one of her four victories at the meeting (Elias Makori)

Personal Best - Outdoor

Performance Wind Place Date
200 Metres 25.09 -4.0 Addis Ababa 02 MAY 2008
400 Metres 55.02 Bambous 10 AUG 2006
800 Metres 2:14.53 Addis Ababa 03 MAY 2008
100 Metres Hurdles 14.21 +0.2 Nairobi 29 JUL 2010
400 Metres Hurdles 56.86 Nairobi 05 JUL 2008
High Jump 1.45 Addis Ababa 02 MAY 2008
Long Jump 5.45 -1.2 Addis Ababa 03 MAY 2008
Shot Put 9.20 Addis Ababa 02 MAY 2008
Javelin Throw 29.85 Addis Ababa 03 MAY 2008
Heptathlon 4867 Addis Ababa 03 MAY 2008

Progression - Outdoor

200 Metres

Performance Wind Place Date
2008 25.09 -4.0 Addis Ababa 02 MAY

400 Metres

Performance Place Date
2006 55.02 Bambous 10 AUG

800 Metres

Performance Place Date
2008 2:14.53 Addis Ababa 03 MAY

100 Metres Hurdles

Performance Wind Place Date
2010 14.21 +0.2 Nairobi 29 JUL
2008 14.67 -1.0 Addis Ababa 02 MAY

400 Metres Hurdles

Performance Place Date
2010 56.96 Nairobi 26 JUN
2008 56.86 Nairobi 05 JUL
2007 57.37 Alger 22 JUL
2006 58.11 Bambous 13 AUG
2005 57.73 Nairobi 18 JUN

High Jump

Performance Place Date
2008 1.45 Addis Ababa 02 MAY

Long Jump

Performance Wind Place Date
2008 5.45 -1.2 Addis Ababa 03 MAY

Shot Put

Performance Place Date
2008 9.20 Addis Ababa 02 MAY

Javelin Throw

Performance Place Date
2008 29.85 Addis Ababa 03 MAY


Performance Place Date
2008 4867 Addis Ababa 03 MAY

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Updated 1 May 2008

Florence WASIKE, Kenya (Heptathlon)

Born: 20 March,1979, Karima Village, Tongaren, Bungoma District

Club: Kenya Prisons

Coach: Steven Mwaniki

Florence Wasike has returned this year to Heptathlon after reigning supreme in sprints in Kenya in the past few years.  A multiple national champion, the Kenya Prisons warder was named the overall best sportswoman of the year at the National Championships for athletics in 2006 and 2007 as well as Kenya Prisons sportswoman of the year for four straight years.

The third born in a family of eight, Wasike attended Nabiswa Complex Primary school before joining Sirakaru High school from 1996 to 2000. “I loved running so I just started running as a joke then realised that it was in my blood and became serious about it,” she said.

Her father, who was a teacher, urged her to take it seriously while in class six. “My father used to run when he was young and he encouraged me,” she said.

In secondary school she blossomed into a top sprinter and, in 1999, she placed ninth in Heptathlon at the National Secondary School Games in Thika. “I could do almost everything on the track so I decided to try Heptathlon and I ended up reaching the nationals.”

The following year Wasike again reached the National Secondary School finals, this time finishing second in the 400m. Despite her sterling form in sprints, she never made any of the country’s junior teams. “I didn’t know that such competitions existed because I had no exposure,” she said.

Having cleared school in 2000, Wasike started 2001 by working at a pharmacy in Bungoma. She wanted to pursue further education but lacked the fees. “I wanted to do nursing but the cost of parallel degree was too much,” she said. But, in May that year, a former teacher spotted her selling in the chemist and took her to Kakamega where she was introduced to prisons coach Steven Kigai. He remembered her from her school days and offered her a chance to train with Prisons western.

Wasike impressed instantly, making the prisons team for the National Championships, where she came third in 400m and anchored the relay team to second place.

In 2002, she again came third in 400m at the National Championships. 

During the same year she made valiant attempts to join the country’s disciplined forces. “I went for recruitment for the Army, Police, Administration P and NYS but was not successful,” she said.

In November, she realised her dream when Prisons announced recruitment. Wasike easily gained admission and joined for a nine-month training course to September 2003. At the 2003 National Championships, Wasike won the 200m (26.18) before coming fourth in 400m (56.41). At the National trials, two weeks later, Wasike came second in 200m (26.4) and sixth at 400m (57.0).

At the 2004 National Championships, Wasike won her favourite event, the 400m Hurdles in 60.71. At the trials for the Athens Olympics, she came fourth in 400m in 55.2. In the 2005 Nationals, Wasike won the 100m Hurdles (14.6) and the 400m Hurdles (57.73) as well as finishing third in the 400m (55:31). She came third in 400m at the National trials for the World Championships in Helsinki (54.41) but did not make the team (Kenya has not fielded athletes in sprints events at the Olympics and World Championships this millennium).

Wasike married David Masila Kilundo in September and, after the Commonwealth Games in Melbourne in March, she continued her dominance in sprint events in 2006. In Melbourne, she was disqualified in the semi-finals. In 400m flat, she finished seventh in her heat. At the National Championships, she won three national titles: the100m hurdles (14.9), 400m Hurdles (57.8) and Long Jump (5.76m). She also finished second in the 400m (54.3).

She made her debut at the African Athletics Championships in Bambous Mauritius, placing fifth in the 400m heats in 55.02 and  sixth in the final (58.42) of the 400m Hurdles.

It was at these championships that she made a vow to return to Heptathlon.

“I had stopped competing in Heptathlon because there was no competition but, in Bambous, there were only three competitors and only one looked really good so I decided to try it at the next championships,” she said.

In 2007, continuing to play her full role for the Prisons team, Wasike won four events at an Athletics Kenya meeting in March - 400m Hurdles (63.34), 100m (12.9), 200m (25.9) and Long Jump (4.94m). In May, she won silver in 400m Hurdles at East Africa Championships in Kampala.  At the National Championships in June, Wasike won the 100m Hurdles (14.67) and Long Jump (5.67) and finished second in the 400m Hurdles (58.31). At the National trials, Wasike came second in 400m in 54.63.

Wasike started 2008 in the best way possible, winning the Heptathlon at the first edition of the African Combined Events meeting in Mauritius in April. She scored 4715 points to beat three other women.

For a role model, Wasike looks to World and Olympic champion Carolina Kluft, of Sweden. “She is amazing in that she has almost no weakness and seems to do well in every discipline,” Wasike said. “Also to go for so long undefeated (since 2002) is absolutely amazing.”

Wasike pinpoints High Jump as one of the areas that she needs to work on in Heptathlon, “It poses problems for me but, on the plus side, I enjoy all the running.”

Personal Best

Heptathlon: 4715 (2008)

Yearly Progression

400m Hurdles: 2005 - 57.73, 2006 – 58.11; 2007 – 57.37
400m:  2004 - 55.2; 2005 - 55.31; 2006 - 55.02; 2007 - 54.63
Heptathlon: 2008 - 4715

Career Highlights

2006    6th African Athletics Championships (400m Hurdles)
2007    1st  Africa Combined Events (Heptathlon)

Prepared by James Wokabi and Mutwiri Mutuota for the IAAF ‘Focus on Athletes’ project. Copyright IAAF 2008

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