Deaflympics: Kenya bags another silver medal

Sharon Bitok

Sharon Bitok poses for a photo with the Kenyan flag after finishing second in women's 1500m race at the 24th Summer Deaflympics in Caxias do Sul, Brazil on  May 11, 2022 at the Sesi Centro Esportivo Athletics Track.


Photo credit: Pool

What you need to know:

  • At the same-time, home player Anzazi Chaka impressed by progressing to the finals of the women's long jump, same as Alice Atieno who finished fifth in women's javelin.
  • In the women's 1500m that was held amid showers, Bitok, 24, who is based in Iten led from the start, before surrendering the lead to Ukrainian Anastacia Sydorenko at the last bend.

In Caxias do Sul

Kenya athletics coach Simon Kibet is confident his team competing here at the delayed 24th Summer Deaflympics will achieve their target of surpassing their medal haul at the previous edition.

Kenya currently ranks 11th in the medal table with a total of 10 medals (two gold, four silver and four bronze).

Kenya is the top African nation while Ukraine lead the main standings with a whopping 103 medals (47 gold, 29 silver and 27 bronze).

Sharon Bitok bagged Kenya’s latest medal when she put up a spirited fight to finish second in women’s 1500m at the Sesi Centro Esportivo Athletics Track.

At the same-time, Anzazi Chaka impressed by progressing to the finals in women's long jump while Alice Atieno finished fifth in women's javelin.

In the women's 1500m that was held under light showers, Iten-based Bitok, 24, led from the lights, before surrendering the lead to Ukrainian Anastacia Sydorenko at the last bend.

Sydorenko romped home in four minutes and 49.31 seconds, while Bitok - who last year finished fourth in the same race at the Worth Deaf Championships in Poland - timed 4:49.98.

Japanese Mio Okada bagged bronze in 4:51.78. Rebecca Matiko, the other Kenyan in the contest, finished fifth in 5:08.08.

“I am happy that the medal has come in my Deaflympics debut,” beamed Bitok.

“I started the race well, but at some point I felt that I was not feeling well, so I decided to go much faster and alone to end the contest as soon as possible."

She said owing to the intense training they had at Karura Forest before departing for the Games, she was not affected by the rain. 

Bitok said her next target in the competition is to upgrade the bronze to gold medal in women’s 800m.

Kibet said they are certain the team will perform better than they did at the 2017 Games staged in Samsun, Turkey. At the last edition’s Games, Kenya finished ninth with 16 medals (five gold, five silver and six bronze).

“We are very happy with how the athletes are performing despite the harsh weather. I am sure that we are going to achieve our target because we still have more races. We just need to work on our tactics,” said Kibet.

In Brazil, Kenya’s two gold medals were won by multiple-medallists Symon Kibai and Ian Wambui in men’s 10,000m and 1500m respectively.

The other silver medallists are Serah Kimani (women’s 10000m), mixed relays team (George Waweru, Beryl Wamira, Linet Nanjala and Isaac Atima) and Peter Toroitich (men’s 10,000m).

The bronze medallists include: Gracy Kandagor (women’s 10,000m), David Kipkogei (men’s 10,000m), Kelvin Kipkogei (men’s javelin) and Linet Nanjala (women’s 400m).

Apart from the women’s 800m, some of the other remaining races where Kenya expect to bag medals include: men’s 800m, men’s and women’s 5000m and marathon.

In the women's long jump, Anzazi - who was leading after the opening round - finished sixth after managing 4.83m.

Cuban Suslaidy Girat took gold with 5.84m.

In Javelin, Atieno finished fifth with a throw of 34.06m. Croatian Laura Stefanac won with 49.92m.

"The effort by the two players (Anzazi and Atieno) shows that with adequate support and proper harnessing of talents, Kenya can prosper in field events too," said Kenya's field events coach Carolyne Anyango.

Welcome!

You're all set to enjoy unlimited Prime content.