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Athletics Masters team receive heroic welcome after stellar show in Albania

Friday, May 31st, 2024 13:08 | By
Athletics Kenya Masters team that represented the country at the Speed Masters Athletics Challenge in Shkodra, Albania receive a red carpet reception after jetting back home.
Athletics Kenya Masters team that represented the country at the Speed Masters Athletics Challenge in Shkodra, Albania receive a red carpet reception after jetting back home. PHOTO/Vincent Voiyoh

Athletics Kenya Masters team that represented the country at the Speed Masters Athletics Challenge in Shkodra, Albania, received a red carpet reception after jetting back home on Thursday night.

The team, comprising two athletes, managed to amass eight medals (seven gold and one silver) during the three-day challenge that was organized by the European Masters Athletics.

Grace Kidake, 39, a former national women’s 400m champion, won three individual gold medals in 200m, 400m, and 800m. She also teamed up with Great Britain to win the 400×100m and 400×400m relays, where she won two gold medals to finish in fourth overall.

The Mombasa-based athlete and short-distance runner expressed her delight following her exploits away from home, competing at the W35 Masters for the first time.

“I am very happy; this win means a lot to me knowing that I have made my country proud and also my family. I would like to thank the Athletics Kenya Masters for facilitating us to participate in this Speed Masters Challenge,” Kidake told People Daily Digital.

An emotional Kidake dedicated the five medals to her late father, Francis Kidake, who passed away a few days before the competition.

“I would like to dedicate these medals to my late dad. He knew that I was going to compete in Albania for the Masters' Challenge, and he has been supporting me throughout my athletic career.

"Few days before the races, I received the unfortunate news from home that he had passed away. I talked to our Athletics Kenya Masters Secretary, General Rose Tata Muiya, and she encouraged and helped me to go through the difficult moment," Kidake added

Stellar Loisiaboi

50-year-old Simon Loisiaboi grabbed two gold medals in the men's 400m and 800m and settled for a silver medal in the 200m race.

“I am very grateful for this historic journey, for sure. I have been in athletics for 17 years, but I never imagined that one day I could travel abroad to represent Kenya. I am glad that I went there and managed to come back home with three medals.

"This should motivate other athletes to master the fact that racing has no age limit. It is a good thing, even for our health,” said Loisiaboi, who hails from the North Pokot region.

Loisiaboi further revealed that he had to sell up to ten cows so as to facilitate his travel to the competition in Albania.

The two athletes will shift their focus to preparing for the World Masters Athletics Championships that will be staged in Gothenburg, Sweden, from August 13–25, 2024.

Athletics Kenya Masters Secretary General Rose Tata Muiya hailed the athletes for their resilience, which helped them emerge victorious in the premier international outing.

“We feel joyful to receive our champions at the Jomo Kenyatta Airport. We are proud of them as a country and as Athletics Kenya Masters. These two athletes have given us global victories and we congratulate them for the job well done.

"As Athletics Kenya Masters, we would like to thank our Athletics Kenya for the support thus far and we call on other stakeholders to join hands with us for this noble course.”

The 

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