NAIROBI, Apr 27 – Kenya’s Deaf athletics head coach Samuel Kibet is confident his charges will surpass last edition’s medal haul at the 24th Summer Deaflympics in Caxias do Sul, Brazil.
The coach also says they are targeting to lower world records during the global event to be held in the Southern Brazilian City from May 1 to 15.
In the 23rd Summer Deaflympics in Samsun, Turkey, in 2017, Kenya won 16 medals; five gold, five silver and six bronze medals.
“We have two main targets here. One is to improve on the performance, and two is to see how many records we can break. In the last Deaflympics, we had 16, we are praying this time round to go higher and get 20 medals,” says the tactician.
The team comprising of 28 men and 18 women, has been at residential camp at the Moi International Sports Center, Kasarani since April 4.
“We have selected a strong track and field team for the Summer Deaflympics. The team is ready for the assignment. They have improved since we started training. We want to ensure they maintain top shape ahead of their departure to Brazil,” adds Kibet, who has been with the team since 2013.
He backed Simon Kibai (5,000m, and 10, 000m, Lucas Wandia (3, 000m steeple chase), Daniel Kiptum (marathon) and John Koech (1, 500m) to lower their records.
Kibet is also optimistic sprinters will finish within the medal bracket during the 15-day championships.
“Remember old is gold and obviously, we have high hopes on experienced athletes because they are leading from the front. I want to believe the young athletes are following their steps. According to our assessment in training, all of them have generally improved and all of them are all at the same level,” said the Kibet
“The 200m junior world record holder Beryl Wamira is also capable of breaking the senior record,” stated the coach after a training session at Moi International Sports Center Kasarani.
Wamira, who is in Team Kenya together with her sister Rael and brother David will also be looking for honours in the women’s 100m.
The women’s captain since 2012, Wamira says despite running with a nagging hip injury, she is confident of a podium finish.
“We are ready especially the women’s team and I know we will do well. We all have individual goals but we are going to win as many gold medals as possible,” said Wamira.
Kenya will also field athletes in javelin, hummer and discuss.
The team is scheduled to leave for Brazil later this week. The first batch of Kenya Team athletes comprising the Women football team arrived in Caxias do Sul on Tuesday evening.