World beater Simon Kibai dreaming of Deaflympics glory in Brazil

Double Deaflympics champion Simon Cherono Kibai reacts after a training session at Kasarani Stadium [Kelly Ayodi, Standard]

Double Deaflympics champion Simon Cherono Kibai is focused to lower his men’s 10,000m record for the third time in a row at the 24th Summer Deaflympics in Caxias Do Sul, Brazil on May 1-15.

The former SOYA Sports Personality of the Year winner first broke the title in Sofia, Bulgaria in 2013 after comfortably breezing to the tape in 29:16.00.

Four years later, he produced a superlative performance clocking 29:11.73 in Samsun, Turkey to further lower the mark and stamp his authority in the race.

Dazzling Kibai was the overall best athlete in both editions of the global championships.

“My target in Brazil is to smash that record for the third time, I’m targeting a sub 29:00.00,” he told Standard Sports at Kasarani Stadium where Team Kenya for the Brazil showpiece is currently camping.

Ahead of the camp, Kibai trained in the rugged terrains of Iten, Elgeyo Marakwet County, for two months. He believes his personalised home program has set him above his peers and rivals.

“I was rusty after missing out on major events for a protracted period,” he said.

“The schedule has taken me back to shape, my fitness is on another level, I feel I’m on course to realise that dream in Brazil.”

Kibai explains he had long runs on Mondays and set up Tuesdays for speed work.

“Wednesdays were for extensive hill work. On Thursdays, I did speed work again and repeated my long runs on Fridays,” he said.

“I took part in 25km run on Saturdays while Sundays were for brisk walks and rest.”

Kibai believes the mindset he set for himself back at home has now aligned him physically and emotionally in his quest for glory in Brazil.

“Apart from the 10,000m, I’m also looking forward to defend my 5000m crown, and probably break it’s record too,” he said.

Despite being highly spirited, the 35-year old admits he will not bother to reclaim his 1,500m title he won in Bulgaria in 2013.

This is because he feels other youngsters have sprung up and are upto the challenge.

“Team Kenya has relatively new and young athletes, they are full of energy, competing them in that category will be such a huge task,” he said.

The father of two has also planned to venture into marathon running after Brazil due to age factor.