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Kirwa to carry flag at Paralympics opening ceremony

ATHLETICS By Erick Ochieng' | September 7th 2016
Category T12 winner Henry Nzungi lead other competitors during the National Team Selection for 11th Edition All Africa Games and 2015 IPC Athletics world championships at Nyayo National Stadium on Wednesday, Aug 5, 2015. PHOTO/ JONAH ONYANGO.

Triple world record holder Henry Kirwa will be Kenya’s flag bearer at the 2016 Rio Paralympics opening ceremony that gets underway at the Maracanã Stadium in Brazil, later tonight.

Kirwa was chosen by the Kenya National Paralympics Committee (KNPC) to carry Kenya’s flag at the expected colorful ceremony since he is the most decorated athlete out of the nine who are representing the country in Rio.

The honour, according to Kirwa, is quite significance as he believes it shows the level of commitment and trusts the federation as well as the country has on him as an international athlete. “Even though I did not post impressive performance in the 2012 London Paralympics, the country still remembers my feat eight years ago in Beijing, this is part of the reason as to why I will be leading Kenyans tonight ahead of the games,” said elated Kirwa.

The triple champion says events of Beijing Paralympics are still fresh in his mind and the only way to revisit the nostalgia is to do a repeat of Beijing in Rio.

In Beijing, Kirwa won three of Kenya’s five gold medals in style by smashing world records in men’s 1500m (T13), 5000m (T13) and 10,000m (T12) categories.

Kirwa believes by dropping his participation in the men’s 10,000m category in the Brazilian city, he has an edge over his opponents in the men’s 1500m and 5000m categories where he will be seeking glory once again.

“I have trained well and the only thing remaining is to do my best on track,” he said.

Kirwa will be assisting men’s 1500m (T11) world record holder Samuel Muchai in guiding the team after the latter was appointed Team Kenya captain for the games.

“I am not only looking forward to defend the class, but also looking forward to smash that record again and add another feather in my cap in the men’s 5000m category,” said Muchai. The Games start officially tomorrow.

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