Kenya’s medal haul takes off
After a great challenging week, Kenya got her groove back by winning her first batch of medals at the ongoing 24th Deaflympics Summer Games in Caxias Do Sul, Brazil.
By yesterday Kenya had won a total of seven medals which include one gold, three silver and three bronze.
Kenyan athletes dazzled in both men’s and women’s 10000m races where Simon Kibai successfully defended his men’s 10000m title to earn the country the first gold medal. He led compatriots Peter Toroitich and David Kipkogei to a podium finish in that order. The clean medal sweep by Kenya is a replica performance of the 2017 Deaflympics in Samsun Turkey, where Kibai led Daniel Kitum and Peter Toroitich to the podium.
“I was out to win the race. I’m glad I did so,” Kibai said.
Toroitich who was happy to have run his race that earned him a silver said, “ I give our coach Samuel Kibet all the credit, he helped us to stay focused and inspired ahead of the competition.”
On Sunday, in the women’s race, Serah Wangari was second-placed after clocking 38:26.41 to give the country silver in women’s 10,000m.
“I feel I tried my best, I worked to get this silver, I felt totally worn out in the final lap but my spirit kept telling me I could do it, so I held on to the tape,” said Wangari. “It was my first time competing in such a terribly cold environment, it made my knees weak, but I kept on assuring myself that I have a goal to reach, I’m glad I did it.”
The victory has buoyed Wangari who is optimistic of another podium finish when she takes a double in women’s 5,000m this Saturday.
Kenya’s team in the 4*400m mix relay came second after the USA to win a silver medal.
The country got a bronze medal from Kelvin Kipkogei who threw 51.30m in the men’s javelin.
Grancy Kandagor also braved a bad fall to settle for bronze in a time of 38:38.93 in the third position.
However, the blistering pace was too hot for Kenyan Winn Bugosi to handle in the punishing Brazil cold weather.
Bugosi dropped out of the energy-sapping race which was won by Mexican Lourdes Ponce Juarez clocking 38.06.59.
Kenyan ambassador to Brazil Lemarron Kaanto on Sunday evening led a capacity crowd to cheer the 10000m men trio during the high octane race.