• In 2017, Kenya arrived in London very late that most athletes missed the classification process and the races altogether.
•The world 1,500m T11 record holder (3:58.37) Mushai saved Kenya the blushes two years ago by winning two gold medals in the 1,500m and 5,000m T11 category.
World and Paralympics double gold medallist Samuel Mushai will be looking to defend his T11 1,500m and 5,000m titles at the 2019 World Para Athletics Championships set for between November 7 and 15 in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.
At the same time, Kenya will be looking to reclaim their place among the top performers this time round following the 2017 Worlds debacle. In 2017, Team Kenya arrived in London very late and most athletes missed the classification process and the races altogether.
The world 1,500m T11 record holder (3:58.37) Mushai saved Kenya the blushes two years ago by winning two gold medals in the 1,500m and 5,000m T11 category.
At the ninth edition, Kenya will field 23 athletes— 16 competitions and seven guide runners. They will be accompanied by 10 officials including medical staff.
Mushai, who is guided by James Boit, said: "We have been training well and we feel ready for the show. We look forward to defending both our titles and I'm in for the challenge.
"I can't really pin-point a particular athlete as a threat but we know it's going to be tough. Every competitor lines up against the other to vie for the title so we are going to put our best feet forward," said Mushai, who is based in Kitale alongside Boit.
Despite being ready for the worlds, Mushai disclosed their uncertainty to honour the championships. As at 3.30 pm yesterday, he said it is unclear if Boit will make the trip owing to the delayed passport renewal at the immigration department.
"We don't know what exactly is happening with his passport. We travelled to the immigration offices in Nairobi on Tuesday and were told the document was in Eldoret. Upon getting to their Eldoret offices today (yesterday), we were told it is in Nakuru and it will reach here by 2 pm. But that was not forthcoming," he added.
This is the first chance for athletes to qualify for the Tokyo 2020 Paralympics. Despite the importance of the Dubai showpiece, the government was not able to afford Team Kenya para-athletes residential training ahead of the Championships.
"We could not call the athletes to residential training due to lack of finances. The government was not able to provide funding for the same. However, the ministry of sports has catered for most of the team's expenses including accommodation, meals and airfare," said Elijah Mwandihi, the secretary-general of Kenya National Paralympics Committee. The team leaves Nairobi for Dubai on November 2 ahead of classification process the following day through to sixth.