Team Kenya captain Lucas Wanjiru Wandia lived up to his billing by defending his men’s 3000m Steeplechase title at the ongoing 24th Summer Deaflympics 2021 Games in Brazil.
Wandia clocked 9 minutes 29.27 seconds while compatriot Peter Omari Kokobi settled for bronze in 9 minutes 30.13 seconds behind Alexander Bley of Germany who crossed the finish line in 9 minutes 25.86 seconds. Another Kenyan Jacob Kibet came in a distant fifth in the race held at the Sesi Centro Esportivo Athletics Track in the Southern Brazilian City of Caxias Do Sul on Friday morning.
“I want to thank coach Samuel Kibet for equipping me with tactics that made the race so easy,”
“We had planned for a 1,2,3 finish but unfortunately one of us, Jacob Kibet, got injured and this made him to struggle in the race.
“The competition was also easy for me because of the adequate training I had at the camp back in Nairobi that helped me to improve on my speed.
“We are also grateful for the government support as all our needs were met, making us to only focus on one thing, training for the championships alone,” Wandia said.
The Deaflympics record holder has been Team Kenya skipper for a decade now.
In the women’s 3000m steeplechase Ann NjokiWangeci secured the bronze medal in her debut appearance at the Deaflympics. Wangeci clocked 12 in minutes 12.02 seconds behind Sarah Elise Ruokonen of Finland (10.54.53)and Emily Wilson of USA (11.32.17)
Wangeci termed the podium finish as an important feat since she was making her debut both in the race and the championships.
“I switched from walking race to steeplechase because the former is not offered in the Deaflympics.
“I’m very happy to have won a medal in my first stint in the Games,” Wangeci said.
“I’m hoping to win gold in the next edition of the championships.
“When I go back home, I’ll do a lot of practice on the hurdle because jumping over the barrier is my greatest weakness,” said Wangeci.
While Wangeci was basking in glory, her compatriot Sarah Wasike was nursing an injury sustained after falling from the hurdle during the water and barrier race.
Kenya on course to shatter her medal haul in the Games.
Meanwhile, Team Kenya is on the cusp of eclipsing the 16 medals won in the last edition of the Summer Deaflympics games in Samsun, Turkey in 2017.
So far the country has won 14 medals, 3 gold, 4 silver and 7 bronze.
Men’s Steeplechase-Lucas Wandia Wanjiru.
Men’s 10000m-Simon CheronoKibai.
Men’s 1500m- Ian Wambui Kahinga.
4X400m Mixed Relay (George Waweru, LinetNanjala, Beryl Wamira, Isaac Atima)
Men’s 10000m- Peter Toroitich.
Women’s 10000m-Serah Wangari Kimani.
Women’s 1500m- Sharon JeptarusBitok.
Men’s 10000m- David Kipkogei.
Women’s 10000m- GrancyKandagor.
Men’s Javelin- Kelvin Kipkogei.
Women’s 400m – LinetFwambaNanjala.
Men’s Golf- Isaac OgollaMakokha.
Men’s 3000m Steeplechase- Peter Omari Kokobi.
Women’s 3000m Steeplechase- Ann NjokiWangeci