Shame as Kenya ‘barred’ from competing in Deaf Olympics
Ten Kenyan Deaflympics athletes have been barred from participating in the ongoing World Championships in Stara Zaragoza, Bulgaria for lacking hearing aids.
On Wednesday, Kenya lost a bronze medal with Jocob Kibet’s win in the 3000m steeplechase cancelled for lacking the necessary attachments.
Those missing attachments include: Paul Simiyu, Kelvin Withaka, Francis Rondi, John Koech, Electine Maliba, Mary Tanui, Mercy Peyeai, Saulo Mwanthi, Jacob Kibet and Kokobi Omari.
“It is sad that I will not compete in this world event, our hearing attachments were not sent to the chairman of the World Deaf Championships,” texted one athlete.
The Deaflympics team’s troubles began with late departure to Bulgaria, missing some opening events.
World record holder Baxton Menjo failed to defend the men 1500m title he won at the 2012 World Deaf Athletics Championships in Toronto, Canada as the team was still on transit to Bulgaria on Monday.
Team Kenya Captain, Daniel Kiptum, triple Deaflympics Champion Simon Kibai and 2012 silver medalist Peter Toroitich are some high profile competitors who were affected by the team’s inability to get to the championships on time.
Missed events include: marathon, 1500m semi-finals, 100m heats, 400m heats and 10,000m final for men as well as the women’s 400m semi-final and 10,000m finals.
In Friday results, Beryl Atieno, 2013, 200m Gold medalist in Sofia qualified for 200m finals for winning her semifinal in 25.54 while David Wamira finished fifth in 25.12 for the men’s side.
Kenya has so far pocketed two medals in the world contest, Lucas Wanjiru, the runners up of 3000m steeplechase in Sofia 2013 and Menjo, clinched Gold and Silver medals respectively in the men’s 3000m steeplechase.
The contest closes on Sunday with 12 eligible athletes battling for more medals for Kenya.