By Oscar Pilipili
Kenyan runners finished fourth overall during the 2012 World Deaf Athletics Championships held in Toronto, Canada. Russia dominated the games to win the overall title with 42 medals that were made up of 22 gold, 26 silver and 15 bronze.
Belrus came third on 1 medals (5-4-5) followed by Kenya in the fourth position (4-4-2) and USA (4-4-2). Kenya was the only African country among the top 10 overall finishers.
Japan managed three gold, two silver and bronze to finish sixth followed by Cuba (3-0-2) and Poland (1-1-1) and Estonia (0-1-2). Middle distance runner and captain Baxton Menjo led Team Kenya from the front winning two gold.
He won 800m race 1:52.26 and completed his double by clinching 1,500m in 3:48.69 that was new world record time. Daniel Kiptum extended Kenya’s gold tally to three after he led teammates to 1-2-3 glittering finish in 10,000m.
David Kosgei crossed the finish line in second position in 30:18.03, while Peter Torotich was third in 30:18.03. Sprinter David Wamira started the medal chase when he finished runner-up in men’s 200m in 27.16 as his sister Beryl Atieno clinched gold and silver after she won 200m in 24.76 and finished second in 100m in 12.34.
Team manager Tom Okiki claimed that Kenyans could have won more medals but biased officiating frustrated their efforts in Toronto.He said: “Race officials were biased and they practiced racism. They disqualified us from competing 5000m, 400m and 4 x 400m relay.”
“They accused our athletes in these races of false start and we didn’t see it happen,” he said. According to Okiki, most of the participating countries felt sorry for Kenya for missing out of the races.
“Most countries sympathized with Kenya and were convinced that the track and field officials were against us,” Okiki said in a statement yesterday. The team was scheduled to return home last night.