People Daily

Moraa, Mpoke and Ndigiti swim in unfamiliar glory

Gibo Zachary @PeopleSports11

While Kenya savours what has been a memorable World U18 Championships at Kasarani Stadium, the country is also revelling in medals that are not synonymous with its athletes.

Three medals, two silvers in girls’ 400m and boys’ 400 hurdles and a bronze in the boys’ walk were not expected from Team Kenya but they added to the haul of 15 that the country claimed in the five-day event that ended yesterday.

“Kisii Express” Mary Moraa was first to achieve the rare fete on Friday, when a late kick in the girls’ 400m cost her a gold medal and she had to settle for a silver in a time of 53.31 behind Barbora Malikova of the Czech Republic who clocked 57.74 for gold.

Moraa, who has now become a household name in Kenya and around world, is still excited by her achievements and wants to use it as a springboard to better things in future. “I feel so happy and thank God for this magical moment,” said the 17-year-old Form three student at Mogonga Secondary School in Kisii.

Another silver medal came from Moitalel Mpoke in the boys’ 400m hurdles on Saturday, having recorded a Personal Best time of 52.06 to beat athletes from France, Brazil and Jamaica who were expected to perform better.

Dominic Ndigiti then made it three, the number of unexpected medals for Kenya, the Form Two student from Kiendege Secondary School in Nyamira, walking his way to a bronze in the boys’ 10,000m walking race on Saturday. He recorded a Personal Best time of 41:25.78 to win bronze, much to the delight of his coach Patrick Njue.

“I almost lost my voice while cheering him up. I even do not know how to express my delight, all glory and honour to the Almighty God,” said Njue. But even as Kenyans were excited at winning these rare medals, it was also evident that the country still has a long way to go before they can dream of winning something in field events.

Team Kenya struggled to make an impact in shot put where Penina Akoth found it tough past the much-skilled German and Chinese athletes as she finished last while Musyoka Mwema (Long Jump) and Ita Nao Leshan (Javelin) lost in the finals of their respective events.

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