Kenya sweep 10,000m podium at Deaflympics

By Erick Ochieng'

Kenya on Tuesday night broke the record and swept all medals in 10,000m at the ongoing Deaflympics Games in Sofia, Bulgaria

Simon Cherono clocked 29:16.00 to win gold and set the new mark as compatriots Daniel Kiptum clocked  29:27.39 to win silver ahead of David Kipkogei 30:52.80.

Cherono had earlier won a silver in the men’s 1500m behind Alexander Bley of Germany while Andrey Gennadyevich of Russia took bronze.

“I am elated with the win. The the weather was accommodative. These are the factors that contributed to my breaking of the record,” Cherono told FeverPitch on phone.

Kiptum had won Kenya its  first gold last week when he clocked 2:24:45 to emerge victorious in the men’s marathon that was held in Fussen, Germany as the 2008 Turkey World marathon and 10,000m bronze medalist Peter Toroitich (2:28:44) bagged silver and David Njeru finished a distant fifth in 2:45:28.

The marathon was run in Fussen, a southern city of Germany since there is no course to hold the 42km race in Sofia.

“I could have won had I put pressure on my self. I guess winning the marathon contributed to my laxity in the race,” Kiptum said after the 10,000m race.

Head Coach Caroline Kola believe more surprises are yet to come in Sofia. Her charges are ready and rearing to go with their focus set on clinching gold.

“I knew either Cherono or Kiptum was going to shatter that record and I am glad my prediction came through,” said Kola. “We are determined to surpass the 2009 Taipei Games record (seven medals including four gold, two silver and one bronze medal) this time round.”

Kenya entered a team of 54 in both track and field plus basketball to Sofia with the government injecting Sh37million to support them. Safaricom also supported the team to a tune of Sh4million.

Safaricom has also pledged a cash award of Sh1million for every gold, Sh600, 000 for every silver and Sh300, 000 for bronze earned in the championships.

Chef De Mission Tom Okiki said he was happy Kenya was getting on course in the championships.

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DeaflympicsBulgariaDaniel Kiptum David Kipkogei Simon Cherono Alexander Bley FeverPitch Germany Turkey Tom Okiki Safaricom Kenya