The first edition of the National Youth Deaf Athletics Championships is set to be held at Moi Stadium, Kasarani Stadium today and tomorrow.
Title sponsor Safaricom has committed Sh2.5m towards the two-day event that will be used to select the team that will represent Kenya at the 1st Summer Deaflympic Youth Games next year in Armenia.
“We have put in place all the necessary measures to ensure the event is a success. It is all about giving deaf athletes the same opportunities for career growth as everyone else. We expect to select a strong team of 25 young talented deaf athletes that will help us cement our position as the best in the world,” said the Deaf Athletics Association of Kenya, secretary general, Bernard Banja. The championship will feature track and field activities, including high jump, pole vault, long/triple jump, shot put, hammer, javelin and discus. Other events will include the 4×100 relay, 4X400 relay, 100m, 200m, 400m, 800m, 1,500m and 10,000m races.
“We are excited to be partnering with DAAK for the first ever Youth Deaf Athletics Championship. This is an amazing opportunity as it gives a platform to upcoming deaf athletes to showcase their talent and a chance to be selected for an international event,” said the Safaricom chief customer officer, Sylvia Mulinge,
Crowd favourite Beryl Atieno Wamira, who currently holds the women’s world youth record in the 100m and 200m events and won silver at the 2013 Summer Deaflympics, together with other upcoming athletes, are expected to compete for the coveted spots.
Kenya collected 17 medals (six gold, five silver and six bronze) in the 2013 Deaflympic Games held in Bulgaria to emerge top in Africa and eighth out of 72 countries that participated in the event.
At the 2017 Deaflympic Games in Turkey, Kenya won 16 medals including five gold and was the only African team in the top 10. The team also broke three world records in the men’s 1,500m, 3000m steeplechase and 10,000m races.