Deaflympics: Kibet upbeat Kenyan team will triumph

By Elizabeth Mburugu: Sunday, September 15th 2019 at 00:00 GMT +3 | Athletics
Beryl Wamira during a training session ahead of Deaflympics Championship to be held at Kasarani. [Jonah Onyango, Standard]

National coach Sammy Kibet is upbeat Kenya’s rich athletics history will inspire his charges to victory at the inaugural Africa Deaf Athletics Championships that starts at Kasarani Stadium tomorrow.

Kibet believes the 50-member squad will dominate the week-ong event. “Our chances of dominating the games are high because of the quality of athletes we are fielding. Some of them have excelled on the global stage and competing at home will give them an added advantage. They are also inspired by Kenya’s rich history and they are longing to make Kenya proud,” Kibet said.

Unlike other events where Kenya has focused on track events, he said, more athletes will contest for medals in field events. “In the Turkey 2017 Deaflympics, we only had one field athlete in Benjamin Kimitei competing in javelin. In this championships, we will have more athletes which means we expect more medals. This is the first continental event but African countries have never been a challenge to us in international events and we are determined to maintain the status quo.”

Siblings David and Beryl Wamira will battle for glory in 100m and 200m sprints. David exuded confidence saying they will settle for nothing less than gold in both races. “We are not under pressure at all, we are ready for the challenge we are targeting gold. Beryl and I have competed in many international events and won medals, we are looking to perform better because we have everything we need including home support,” said David.

Sprinters Paul Simiyu and Linet Nanjala will also be seeking to excel.

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