The 17-year-old, who joins Daniel van der Walt, Keagan Bontekoning, Jamie Penfold and Zandri Strydom in the junior cross-country squad, will compete in the 4km Olympic race on Thursday, September 6.
“I was happy with the selection as it’s definitely one of my goals for the year. I worked hard towards it and it feels like I managed to achieve the first step in getting to world champs.”
She added that her aim was to achieve a top-10 finish, which would be something she would work hard towards in the weeks leading up to the event.
Keep, who finished 37th at last year’s world champs in Cairns, said it was an eye-opener for her when she realised how hard it was.
“Everyone always says how difficult it is, but you never know until you race it yourself and experience it first-hand. Getting a top 10 this year will be amazing and I’m prepared to do all the hard work I can to achieve that.”
She added that she would focus on doing her best on the day, soak up all the experience and have fun on her bike while representing her country in the national jersey.
“It will be a tough task to compete against the best and it’s no easy game. The track is also quite challenging in itself as well as the weather conditions. If it rains the roots and rocks will become quite slippery.”
Keep said compared to last year she felt more experienced, even though she had not been able to compete overseas due to her choosing to focus on her matric studies.
“I feel I know what to expect this time and how hard it will be. I’ll go full gas from the word go and I’m excited to give it my best shot. It’s another stepping stone in my journey.”
She said her form had improved considerably since last year and the rising level of local competition in her age category had contributed to that and helped her grow more.
Keep, who won the junior women’s race at the SA MTB XCO Championships in Bloemfontein last month and claimed her fourth national title, said she was proud of her result seeing as she suffered from flu during that week.
“I still managed to go out there and push myself to the limits. Finishing first was a great accomplishment and a definite confidence-booster.
“In this case I’ll be the underdog because no one really knows where I am and I can probably use that to my favour which will be nice and take a bit of pressure off.”
She felt it would require a lot of grit and determination to achieve a top result.
“I’ll just believe in myself and my abilities, stick to the plan and practise beforehand. This race requires more focus and I know I’ll be a bit more nervous just because of the pure scale of the event.
“I will push myself to my limits so that by the end of the race I can say that I did the best I could.”