Kevin Tanui led the first men’s 800m Divisioning race for the Special Olympics national trials that started yesterday at Kasarani, from gun to tape in a time of 2:08.9 finishing ahead of second placed Justus Muthenya who cut the tape in 2:14.8 to book a place in the finals to be held today at the same venue.
Tanui, a Cheptil Primary School pupil says that his performance at the county level motivated him to win yesterday’s race adding that he will do his best in the finals today to make the Olympics team and win Kenya gold in his discipline.
Stella Jepkosgei and Zipporah Muthama finished first and second in 2:55.5 and 2:34.3 respectively in 800m girls to book a slot in the finals as well.
Special Olympics Kenya are holding their national games that double as trials for the team that will represent the country in the World Summer Games slated for Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates (UAE) in March next year.
The games have brought together 284 athletes from seven regions taking part in 12 sporting activities that include unified basketball, athletics, swimming, unified 11-a-side men’s football, unified bocce, unified women’s and men’s volleyball, unified women’s handball, half marathon, cycling among others with open water swimming and unified golf trials set to be held at a later date.
“The two-day competition will culminate with the draw and naming of the 73 athletes and 19 coaches who will make up the Special Olympics Kenya national Team that will travel to compete in the World Summer Games in Abu Dhabi,” said Susan Masila, national director, Special Olympics Kenya adding that for the first time, the national games will feature three new disciplines, cycling, bocce and unified golf.
The 73 selected today will immediately commence preparations for the global show piece as they look to replicate the 2015 national team performance that returned victorious from the same games in USA with eight individual gold medals, two team golds, three silvers, one individual bronze medal and one team bronze medal.