World record holder Beryl Atieno Wamira will be among the top stars at the inaugural national Youth Deaf Athletics Championships that run at Kasarani Stadium, Nairobi, tomorrow and Friday.
Wamira, who is the reigning 100m and 200m women world youth record holder and a silver medalist in 2013 Summer Deaflympics, will be up against a big field of upcoming athletes.
Kenya collected 17 medals (six gold, five silver and six bronze) in the 2013 Deaflympic Games in Bulgaria to top in Africa and eighth out of 72 countries in contention.
During last year’s Deaflympic Games in Turkey, Kenya bagged 16 medals that included five gold and was the only African team in top 10. The team also broke world records in men’s 1,500m, 3000m steeplechase and 10,000m.
The Deaf Athletics Association of Kenya (DAAK) will use the event to select a team to the first Summer Deaflympic Youth Games to be held in Armenia in June2019.
“We have put in place all what is required to host a successful event. It is all about giving deaf athletes the same opportunities to develop their talents. We expect to select 25 deaf athletes that will help us maintain our position as the best in the world,” said Benard Banja, Secretary General of DAAK.
The championship will feature track and field activities that include high jump, pole vault, long and triple jump, shot put, hammer, javelin and discus. Other events will include the 4×100 relay, 4X400 relay, 100m, 200m, 400m, 800m, 1,500m and 10,000m races.
“We are excited to be partnering with DAAK for the Youth Deaf Athletics Championship. This is an amazing opportunity as it gives a platform to upcoming deaf athletes to showcase their talent and a chance to be selected for an international event”, said Sylvia Mulinge, Chief Customer Officer, Safaricom.