Aniqah Bailey is only 11 but she has already mastered more than 5K races.
No stranger to placing on the winner’s podium every time she competes, the running star shyly showed off her large collection of medals, during an interview with Newsday Kids, at Newsday's head office in Port of Spain.
Aniqah placed first in the female category of the Starbucks 5K Coffee Run 2019 – finishing the race in 20 minutes and 39 seconds – on September 15. As if that feat was not impressive enough, she outpaced some of her more mature competitors, a few weeks later, at the Scotiabank Women Against Breast Cancer 5K where she placed second in a time of 21 minutes and 40 seconds.
When asked about her start, she said, “I began running at eight-years-old. I feel very happy when I am running.”
One may imagine that it may be challenging to complete the distances that Aniqah runs but she does not think it is so, saying, “A 5K marathon is not that long.” She shared that even before the 5Ks, she completed a four-mile (6.4K) run. Apart from marathons, she also competes in track events, and usually wins all the medals at her school sports, something that may come as a surprise to no one.
Aniqah loves spelling and keeps on top of her work as a student of Diego Martin Government Primary School. She wants be a professional athlete and hopes to represent TT at international competitions.
“I would love to represent us at the Olympics. I would feel proud and excited if I represent the country.”
She once met three-time soca monarch Aaron ‘Voice’ St Louis. “He told me to believe in myself,” she said. A huge fan of soca, Aniqah hopes to meet Nailah Blackman, saying, “I like all her songs.”
Aniqah knows that success does not come easy though and said she makes sacrifices to train. “During training we do drills and warm-ups. I train after school and on weekends.”
Don’t be too concerned about her schedule as Aniqah makes sure she gets time to rest and have fun.
“I like to sleep a lot when I am not training, and from time to time I go out with my friends.”
She may not be able to eat everything due to a strict and healthy diet to maintain her running form, but Aniqah enjoys watching people create a variety of foods.
“I like to watch cooking. I am always watching the Food Network.”
Supported by her proud parents, Makeida Sealy and Agenia Bailey, Aniqah is already preparing for next year's try-outs for a national junior team. She thanked her coach Derrick Simon, of the One a week Multi-Sport Club in Port of Spain, for his hard work in training her.
Aniqah would not let the interview end without sharing one more thing, “My favourite colour is pink.”