Deaf Athletics: Kipkogei Strikes Gold In Long Jump As Kenya Makes Podium Sweep In Men’s 400m

Kenya makes podium sweep in men’s 100m. PHOTO/AFRICA DEAF ATHLETICS CHAMPIONSHIPS

NAIROBI, Kenya- After lifting gold in the men’s long jump on Monday night, Deaflympian Kelvin Kipkogei is now focused on striking another glittering medal in the men’s javelin on Thursday at the ongoing second edition of Africa Deaf Athletics Championships in Kasarani, Nairobi.

Kipkogei had an impressive score of 6.16m to floor a rich field from across the continent in the long jump.

Mohamed Naceur (5.72m) from Algeria clinched silver as Nichola Ngeno settled for bronze in 5.37m.

“I feel great being the new African King. Long jump has been my favorite sport from Primary to High School,” Kipkogei told Standard Sports.

The victory now inspires Kipkogei, who was making his debut in the continental event, to dream of breaking the world record in the discipline at the world championships in Japan next year.

Kipkogei says his secret in the game is training with other hearing athletes at his base in Kapsabet and the Karen School for the Deaf in Nairobi.

Kenya makes podium sweep in women’s 100m. PHOTO/AFRICA DEAF ATHLETICS CHAMPIONSHIPS

His focus now is to win gold in men’s javelin where he will put his life on the line on Thursday.

Last year, Kipkogei won bronze for Kenya in Javelin at the 24th Summer Deaflympics Games held in Caxias Do Sul in Brazil where Team Kenya amassed a record 24 medals (5 gold, 7 silver, 12 bronze) to top Africa.

At the same time, Kenya made a clean sweep in men’s 400m at the ongoing championships in Kasarani

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

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

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

1,3 finish for Kenya in men’s Long Jump. PHOTO/AFRICA DEAF ATHLETICS CHAMPIONSHIPS

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

By clinching gold, Atima has technically qualified for the world championships that are slated for Japan in June 2024.

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

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

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

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

“Some were put down by finances while others had traveling 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.

Kenya makes podium sweep in men’s 400m. PHOTO/AFRICA DEAF ATHLETICS CHAMPIONSHIPS

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 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.

“We learned several lessons in 2019 that have now been put to 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 taking 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.


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)

Men’s Long Jump Finals

1. Kelvin Kipkogei 6.16m

2. Mohamed Naceur 5.72m, Algeria

3.Nicholas Ngeno 5.37m

4.Ramadhan Salim 5.23m, Libya

5.Joshua Kalaui 4.96m

6.Emmanuel Oyoko 4.85m

7.Stephen Okoth 4.65m

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