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Kenya to pick Para-athletics team to 2024 Paris Games

Athletics
 Kenya’s 1500m T11 athlete Mary Waithera Njoroge and her guide Bernard Korir. [Team Kenya Paralympics]

A Para-athletics team to the 2024 Paris Paralympics will be unveiled in three weeks.

The Kenya National Paralympic Committee (KNPC) has set stage for the national trials from January 18-20 at Kipchoge Keino Stadium, in Eldoret.

Athletes will compete in several Paralympic events during the three-day national trials as they vie for tickets to the 2024 Paralympic Games scheduled for August 28 to September 28.

According to KNPC, the national trials will also produce teams that will represent Kenya at the Tunis Games in March and Kobe Japan World Championships set for May this year.

Several Para-athletics stars are expected to highlight the Kipchoge Keino stadium showdown.

“All events in the Para-athletics track and field disciplines shall be held in the national trials,” Paralympic committee secretary general Stanley Mutuma said.

Participants at the national event will also include self-sponsored and county teams.

“The national trial is to select Para-athletes who shall represent team Kenya in subsequent national, regional and International Paralympic Committee (IPC) events including the Tunis Games in March, Kobe Japan World Championships in May and Paris 2024.”

The committee said it hoped to select a team that would extend Kenya’s dominance in Para-athletics at the Paralympics.

Para-athletes eying tickets to the regional and international shows will sponsor themselves.

“Participants and their sponsors are expected to cater for their own transport and accommodation to the venue of the competition,” Mutuma said.

The Paralympic committee secretary general said the national championships will be held in collaboration with Uasin Gishu County.

Under the collaboration, Uasin Gishu County, which hosted the 2023 sitting volleyball national tournament has been tasked with catering for logistics, planning, and making security arrangements for participants.

Joseph Ochieng-led Local Organising Committee in Uasin Gishu said Eldoret is ready to host the national trials.

“We are expecting Para-athletes from about 18 counties alongside self-sponsored participants. We urge counties and other sponsors to support the talents so that we select a strong team,” he said.

He added: “There will be no other trials. Athletes from Uasin Gishu have dominated recent Para-athletics events and as the hosts, we hope to shine at home.”

Para-athletes who qualified to represent Kenya at the East Africa Games last year, among them 1500m athlete Wesley Sang (T46), men’s 5000m T11 Eric Sang as well as Nancy Chelangat, the World Paralympics 1,500m champion, will be expected to hadline the Eldoret show.

At least 300 athletes took part at the last national event at the Kiprugut Chumo Stadium in Kericho in November last year.

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