Makokha wins bronze in Brazil
The 2020 Amateur Matchplay champion Isaac Makokha entered his name in the annals of golf history as the first-ever Kenyan bronze medallist at the Deaflympics Summer Games on Thursday morning in Caxias Do Sul, Brazil.
Makokha, who hails from a golf family led by his elder brother Jeff Kubwa, beat Guldan Nico of Germany to win bronze after a match playoff at the Caxias Golf Club.
The golfer dropped to the bronze medal playoff after narrowly losing to world champion and double Deaflympics champion John Allen of Germany in the semis played under the harsh conditions of rains.
The Vet Lab-based golfer had stormed to the semis after eliminating Nielsen Lasse of Denmark.
Team Kenya golf head coach Vincent Wang’ombe was full of praise for Makokha, the only Kenyan to have achieved that feat in the global competition after Adan Wario dropped out because of injury and Gilbert Alikula was eliminated.
“The competition has been tough, Makokha gave his best and we are proud of his feat,” Wang’ombe said.
Meanwhile, Kenya added another silver to her medal tally at the ongoing games. The silver was delivered by 26-year-old Sharon Jeptarus who hails from Eldoret. The Iten based athlete went head-to-head with other strong competitors from Europe in the opening lap.
She took command of the race in the remaining rounds until the final lap where she was eclipsed by Anastacia Sydorenko of Ukraine to settle for the silver.
“We had strategised for the race with my compatriots but I felt I was not feeling well. So, I decided to go much faster, and alone to end the contest as soon as possible,” said Jeptarus.
She reiterated that the cold and wet conditions at the Sesi Centro Esportivo Athletics Track at the night did not affect her performance in any way.
“I had acclimatised to the cold Brazilian weather by training at the freezing end of Karura Forest while doing my build-ups for the global championships back in Nairobi,” she said.
She added: “I will now head for the women’s 800m which I’m optimistic that I will win.”
Last year, Jeptarus took part in 1500m and 800m in the World Deaf Championships in Poland, finishing fourth and sixth respectively.