Emmanuel Masinde @Peoplesport11
Triple deaflympics champion Simon Kibai continued his good form when he powered to victory in the men’s 10,000m as the Safaricom Deaf Athletics Championships came to an end at Kipchoge Keino Stadium in Eldoret yesterday.
In the championships, meant to select Team Kenya for the 23rd Deaflympic Championships slated for July in Turkey, six athletes qualified for the global event in the 10,000m after hitting the A standard qualifying time of 35:13.00.
Kibai won the race in a time of 30:24.3 edging out Peter Toroitich to second in 30:46.2 as Daniel Kiptum sealed the podium in 31:16.1. David Kiptum settled for fourth (31:57.9) while Martin Gachie (32:19.2) and David Njeru (33:04.4) all hit the qualifying marks in fifth and sixth places in that order.
The 29-year-old Iten-based athlete now has a chance to complete a rare triple double in Turkey as he also qualified for the 5,000m and 1,500m after winning and finishing second respectively in both races on Tuesday.
Speaking via an interpreter, Kibai was ecstatic after the victory especially with his daughter in the stands. “I felt it was good for her to come and watch me running at the stadium because I want to make her love athletics at an early age.
I am happy to have qualified to represent Kenya in Turkey,” he said. Meanwhile, Juster Kwamesa who had settled for third position in the women’s 5,000m race, made amends by winning the 10,000m category after clocking 42:34.3 to qualify with Roselida Okumu in second after timing 43:52.9 as Jentrix Dindi (45:05.2), Laureen Ngonga (46:03.0) and Caren Nasingo (46:51.6) finished in third, fourth and fifth in that order.
In the women’s 400m hurdles, only Linet Nanjala qualified after finishing in a time of 71:03 to surpass the B standard qualifying time of 71:50 while in the men’s category, Saul Mwanthi won in 58:2 followed by Dennis Kiprop (58.9) to sail through on the 59:40 B standard qualifying mark.
The men’s 100m race saw David Wamira qualify in a time of 10.4 seconds while Paul Simiyu (10.6 seconds) and Elisha Wekesa (10.8 seconds) finished in second and third positions, respectively.