Kenya comes 10th at Deaflympics games
Kenya clinched a total of 24 medals; five gold, seven silver and 12 bronze to emerge first in Africa while Algeria was second with a distant five medals.
The East Africans claimed 10th position at the just concluded 2021 Deaflympics Summer Games in Caxias Do Sul, Brazil, after clinching five gold, seven silver and 12 bronze medals.
Ukraine topped the standings with 137 medals: 61 gold, 38 silver and 38 bronze.
This year’s performance surpasses the last edition held in Turkey in 2017 where Kenya regisrered 16 medalsL Five gold, five silver and six bronze. It is the best since the country first took part in the Games in Copenhagen, Denmark in 1997.
The medals tally would hav been more had Kenya long-distance athletes for both men and women not been disqualified from the marathon for their lateness on Sunday.
The five athletes (three men and two women) arrived at the starting point a few minutes before the call time deadline and were barred from competing despite informing the race director of their predicament.
“We failed to take part due to a technical hitch and miscommunication. We arrived at the venue just before the race started but we were told that we cannot participate” disappointed coach Samuel Kibet said.
Culture and Heritage principal secretary Josephta Mukobe who is leading the Kenyan contingent said the government will marshall resources to ensure the exemplary performance is celebrated.
She noted that the hitches experienced served as lessons and will help to prepare well for future competitions.
“As management, we are taking this as a learning curve whereby in subsequent activities, we are going to be very careful that we don’t make small mistakes that are going to cost us medals. However, we should not let what happened today dampen our spirits,” said Mukobe.
Meanwhile, World beater Simon Kibai on Saturday ran to victory in men’s 5000 metres to achieve his target of bagging two medals at the 24th Summer Deaflympics in Caxias Do Sul, Brazil.
“This time I have not broken any record because this place is very cold. Sometimes you want to increase the speed but it is hard because of the weather. Maybe I will break the records again during the Africa championships,” he said.
Grancy Kandagor dug deep to salvage a bronze medal for Kenya in the 5000m final which was run in the rain.
Kandagor who also won a bronze medal in the 10,000m expressed disappointment after missing out on the marathon saying she had prepared adequately for the race.
“I feel discouraged because I didn’t take part. I was ready for the marathon” she said.
In the men’s category, Peter Toroitich, Daniel Kiptum and David Kiptum were to fly the Kenyan flag.