World Junior 200m women deaf record holder Beryl Wamira gave Kenya her first gold medal as the inaugural Africa Deaf Athletes Championships kicked off at Moi International Sports Centre, Kasarani in Nairobi on Tuesday.
The hosts also starred in the men’s 10,000m, sweeping all the three podium places to set on course Kenya’s journey to finish top in the competition.
While the competition was supposed to kick-off in the morning, it was pushed to evening due to late arrival by some teams, among them Nigeria.
Twelve countries are taking part in the five days event, which will end on Saturday.
As expected, Wamira, 24, starred in the women’s 100m, which was the first event of the day, crossing the finish line first in 12:87 seconds.
She was followed at a distance by Nigeria’s Assurance Omoria, who finished in 13:21seconds, while another Kenyan Ruth Awuor wrapped the podium finishers in 13:58 seconds.
“The race was hard because I was not feeling well before it started. I am happy with the win because together with my coach, we have been training hard. My ambition is to represent Kenya in more future events,” said an elated Wamira.
It was a field day for Kenya in the 10,000m as the only competition they faced was one Algerian athlete after only four runners took to the track for the race.
Martin Gache won the race in 31 minutes and 15 seconds ahead of Peter Toroitich and Amos Kiplagat who finished in 31:53 and 33:05 respectively.
Three other Kenyan athletes progressed to the men’s 100 meters finals, which will take place on Wednesday after starring in their respective heats.
They are Elisha Wekesa, Walter Malenje and Paul Simiyu who clocked 11: 43, 11:47 and 11:54 seconds respectively.
But it was a bad day for the hosts in the 800m women’s finals after they finished out of the podium places. Ugandan Jeniffer Nyakato sensed victory after the first lap and broke from the leading pack, which had two other Ethiopian runners, to cross the finish line 2:08:3.
Ethiopian Asaku Rega came second in 2:10:7, while her compatriot Alam Asfaw emerged third in 2:22:9.
Nyakato said: ” I never expected to win the race because of the presence of Kenya and Ethiopian runners. This victory has motivated me to keep working hard in training to represent Uganda in other international events.”
100m Women Finals
1. Beryl Wamira (Kenya) 12:87seconds
2.Assurance Omoria (Nigeria) 13:21seconds
3.Ruth Awuor (Kenya) 13 : 58 seconds
4. Lokheeram Asuyma (Mauritania) 13:92 seconds
5.Rita Akoth (Kenya) 14:31seconds
800m Women Finals
1.Jeniffer Nyakato (Uganda) 2:08:3mins
2.Rega Asnaku (Ethiopia) 2:10:7mins
3.Alam Asfaw (Ethiopia) 2:22:9mins
4. Hannah Wakongo (Kenya) 2:26:1mins
5. Rebecca Matiko (Kenya) 2:37:4mins
10,000m Men Finals
1.Martin Gache (Kenya) 31:15:53mins
2.Peter Toroitich (Kenya) 31:31:96mins
3.Amos Kiplagat (Kenya) 33:05:95mins
4.Guendouz Yahia (Algeria) 37:23:30mins
100m men Finalists
1. Baleksmen Moussou (Cameroon) 11.75seconda
2. Jean Duval (Mauritania) 11.95seconds
3.Badmus Murudden (Nigeria) 11.26seconds
4. Elisha Wekesa (Kenya) 11: 43 seconds
5. Kealeboga Karesaza (Botswana) 11: 54 seconds
6. Malenje Walter (Kenya) 11:47 seconds
7. Kifle Million (Ethiopia) 11:74 seconds
8. Simiyu Paul (Kenya) 11:54seconds
By Daily Nation