Kenya confident as inaugural Africa fiesta kicks off

By Emmanuel Too and Judah Ben-Hur: Tuesday, September 17th 2019 at 00:00 GMT +3 | Athletics
CS Sports Amina Mohamed at Kasarani yesterday for the Africa Deaf Athletics. [Jonah Onyango]

It is all systems go as Kenya hosts the first Africa Deaf Athletics Championships at Kasarani Stadium.

Kenya beat other African nations to host the historic event that ends on September 22. The event, which will include track and field events involves 12 African nations.

Kenyan team head coach Sammy Kibet said the Kenyan team is blessed with robust athletes.

“We have the biggest representation with a team of 52 athletes, 32 men and 20 women who have been training for the past two weeks and we expect to scoop as many medals as possible,” said Kibet

A notable absentee is Simon Kibai, the 2013 Deaflympics triple gold medallist. However, Kenya’s hopes and confidence are anchored on international athletes such as world record holder, Daniel Kiptum and Deaflympics silver medallist, Peter Toroitich.

With so much expectations on the organisers and athletes, financial challenges have forced them to reduce the budget from the initial Sh107 million to Sh47 million.

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This according to the President of Deaf Athletics Association, James Kirui forced 10 countries to drop out of the competition.

“Initially we were to cater for all athletes. When the allocation was reduced by the government, we were forced to cut on our expenditure and this forced other countries to pull out,” said Kirui.

Regardless of the challenges Kirui believes this event will act as a springboard to allow Kenya hold the next World deaflympics.

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