• Early this month, he competed in 1,500m and 800m where he won and finished second respectively even went ahead to pay a license fee worthy kshs 2,000.
• Oluoch defended the decision of leaving some athletes out of competition due to some technicalities, available chances and the probability of good performance at the games.
For the last seven years, Wilfred Laisikwa has been attending all Paralympics trials but he has never had an opportunity to represent the country in all international games despite making a cut into the national team.
As Kenyan contingent leaves for inaugural Africa Paralympics qualifier in Morocco, Laisikwa, Competing in T37, Laisikwa has blamed the organizing committee for throwing him out of the team seven times consecutively without giving him any explanation. Early this month, he competed in 1,500m and 800m where he won and finished second respectively even went ahead to pay a license fee worthy kshs 2,000.
“I was selected on that day. We were told that we will be called to join the camp but I waited in vain but on Saturday I called a friend to told me that they are already in camp yet I have not been contacted at all. But I was surprised to realize that my position has been allocated someone else yet I qualified. I failed to understand how I missed to join the camp. I called the Chairperson Agnes Oluoch who did not receive my calls,” said Laisikwa, requesting that Paralympics selections should be transparent.
But Oluoch defended the decision of leaving some athletes out of competition due to some technicalities, available chances and the probability of good performance at the games.
“We are given three slots in each category and we can’t slot in everyone. With such fewer slots, you go for the best. Sometimes, we an athlete may win the race but he or she has not attained the required time to make the cut for the championships,” said Oluoch.
According to Oluoch, T37 involves athletes with Cerebral Palsy, a condition that an athlete saliva rolls freely.
Trans Nzoia based Laisikwa said he wants to represent the country at the 2020 Paralympic Games in Tokyo but his journey has been cut shot.
“Every time I try to call our coach Ruth Ndalut, she insisted his position was taken by other athletes. I want openness and have transparence at trials not hiding cards under the table. If the federation will be picking athletes who have not done any trials, they should not be calling for the trials. For the last seven years, I have been going for such trials, I qualify but at the end I don’t make the team because of unknown reasons. In 2017, I was ejected from the camp ahead of London games,” explained Laisikwa.
With such, Oluoch explained that the trials were held on the same day, hence no enough time for each category to compete on its own instead they mixed various categories to save time.
“We always go for the best. On that day, we mixed athletes and some may cry foul play yet it is not the case. Some double disability where it gives organizers some challenges like removing an athlete from the track because of their condition. Some, who seems to qualify were well analyzed by coaches to see how they can perform hence facing them out,” explained Oluoch.
But that seems not good enough for Laisikwa. “I have gone for trials for the last seven years, I make the team but I have never made into the final slot for championships. My name has been a crossing bridge for others who have not been involved in the trails at all.”
Efforts to contact Ndalut were fruitless due to un-received calls on 07282....