Africa Deaf Athletics Championships: Kenya Makes Clean Sweep In Men’s 400m

Team Kenya reaps medals on the final day at the 24th Summer Deaflympics in Caxias do Sul, Brazil in May 2022. PHOTO/KELLY AYODI

NAIROBI, Kenya- Kenya made a clean sweep in men’s 400m as the second edition of Africa Deaf Athletics Championships kicked off at Moi International Sports Centre Kasarani in Nairobi on Monday evening.

Isaac Atima clocked 49.59 to clinch gold as George Waweru (51.65) and Edwin Terer (52.49) breezed to the tape in that order to win silver and bronze.

“I’m happy to have won the race, I’m surprised with the victory even though I really worked for it,” said Atima who finished third in the first edition of the event in 2019.

Atima attributed their podium sweep to good preparations they had in the camp for two weeks ahead of the continental showpiece.

“I believe this great result is going to open more doors for me in 2024,” stated Atima.

By virtue of clinching gold, Atima has technically qualified for the world championships slated for Japan in June next year.

Apart from guarding the team title at the championship, the country is also defending the 10000m, 200m, 3000m steeplechase and the marathon titles at the competition that will end on December 1.

Kenya has entered over 61 athletes in the championship being contested by eight countries from across Africa

Other countries looking for glory are Ghana, Ivory Coast, Algeria, Morocco, Gabon, Cameroon, Mali and Zanzibar.

Team Kenya reaps medals on the final day at the 24th Summer Deaflympics in Caxias do Sul, Brazil in May 2022. PHOTO/KELLY AYODI

“Twenty countries confirmed their participation but due to logistics, some could not make it.

“Some were put down by finances while others had travelling drawbacks,” Confederation of Africa Deaf Sports (CADs) Vice President Miriam Opondo said.

The Kenya athletics team entered camp two weeks ago and was upping training at various venues including the Nyayo Stadium, Uhuru Gardens and the Ngong Hills.

Opondo believes the adequate preparations that Kenya had will increase the country’s medal tally, especially gold, in the championships.

“Kenya prepared well, this time round we are even confident to reap medals in the 100m,” Opondo underlined.

Opondo has thanked the State for coming on board to support the continental showpiece which is also acting as a qualifier for the World Deaf Championships to be staged in June 2024 in Japan.

The Kasarani tournament was preceded by a high-profile two-day seminar in Nairobi which was graced by the International Committee of Sports for the Deaf (ICSD) President Adam Kosa and CADs President Mohammed Madoun.

The attending delegates were taken through lessons in anti-doping, sports technology, ethics and sportsmanship apart from holding continental elections where Opondo who previously held the Secretary General’s post clinched the Africa’s Vice Presidency.

Kenya hosted the inaugural edition of the continental athletics showpiece in Nairobi in 2019 where 12 countries took part as Kenya bagged a total of 54 medals.

Opondo assured they have rectified the challenges realized four years ago in the first edition of the championships.

Team Kenya reaps medals on the final day at the 24th Summer Deaflympics in Caxias do Sul, Brazil in May 2022. PHOTO/KELLY AYODI

“We learnt several lessons in 2019 that have now been put into good use,” she stated.

Opondo has called upon Kenyans to turn up at Kasarani in large numbers to cheer the Kenyan team in their hunt for medals at the ongoing championships.

Apart from looking forward to take part in the world championships next year in Japan, other international contests that Kenya will take part in are the Deaflympics Youth Games in Sao Paulo, Brazil in January and the Winter Deaflympics in Turkey in March.

Last year, Kenya hosted the Africa Deaf Games which also acted as qualifiers for the 24th Summer Deaflympics held in Caxias Do Sul in Brazil.

Team Kenya amassed a record 24 medals (5 gold, 7 silver,12 bronze in Brazil to top Africa.

Men’s 400m finals

1.Tom Isaac Atima 49.50, Gold

2. George Waweru 51.65, Silver

3. Edwin Terer 52.49, Bronze

4.Didoune Abdella 55.19 (Algeria)

5.Ech-Chalaouy Souhail 56.48  (Morocco)

6. Essouhi Imad 1:24.44 (Morocco)

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