ROAD TO TOKYO

Bii reigns supreme as paralympians battle for tickets to Tokyo

The athletics trials was meant to select the paralympics team to participate at the Dubai Para Grand Prix, which offers a chance to secure qualification for the Tokyo Paralympics.

In Summary

•Wilson Bii won the 1500m race and came third in the 5000m category during the paralympics trials.

•In the discus category, Sylvia Olero emerged top with a discus throw of 27 metres

•Olero hopes to improve her performance and rise up the world ranking in the paralympics discus category

Wilson Bii (R) with his guide Robert Tarus lead in 1500m race during the trials for Dubai Para Grand prix at Moi Stadium, Kasarani.
Wilson Bii (R) with his guide Robert Tarus lead in 1500m race during the trials for Dubai Para Grand prix at Moi Stadium, Kasarani.
Image: ERICK BARASA

Kericho-based Wilson Bii had a day to remember as he obliterated the field to win the 1,500m race at the Moi Stadium, Kasarani during the national trials to select a paralympic team to the Dubai Para Grand Prix next month. 

Bii clocked 4:23.6 ahead of Eric Sang and Rodgers Kiprop, who clocked 4:29.7 and 4:32.7 to finish second and third respectively. 

"To be honest, I did not expect to perform this way and attain a podium finish considering the conditions under which I have been training. However, despite the challenges, we sat down with the coach to come up with a way to work around my competitors," Bii said. 

Bii also came third in the 5,000m race after clocking 15:55.5 — behind winner John Toroitich (15:23.01) and Bernard Koskey (15:25.06). 

Erick Sang (R) guided by David Korir lead a pack in 1500m race during the trials for Dubai Para Grand prix at Moi,Kasarani.
Erick Sang (R) guided by David Korir lead a pack in 1500m race during the trials for Dubai Para Grand prix at Moi,Kasarani.
Image: ERICK BARASA

He has now set his sights on the Dubai championships, which offers a chance for competitors to qualify for the Tokyo Paralympic Games which have been rescheduled for August 24-September 5. 

"My focus now is on the Dubai Grand Prix. I want to better my performance with the aim of qualifying for the Paralympics," Bii said. 

Nancy Chelangat won the 1,500m women's race after clocking 64.7 ahead of Nelly Nasimiyu and Mary Waithera who finished second and third in 67.6 and 70.3 respectively.

In the 400m men's race, Vitalis Kibiwott and Gilbert Lagat earned their tickets to Dubai after finishing first and second respectively in 52.1 and 53.3. 

In discus, Sylvia Olero threw 27 metres to win the competition and enhance her chances of securing a maiden appearance at the Paralympics. 

"I really want to qualify for the Paralympics and compensate for the pain of missing out on Rio Games. I believe I can do better with one month of training and improve on my throw to at least 35 metres," Olero, 40, said. 

Olero is also keen on improving her world rankings. 

"Usually, the top five Paralympians in discus qualify for the Paralympics directly.  I am currently ranked 10th and so I need to work hard to make it to the top five. I am encouraged by the fact that I have not been training and yet I managed to throw 27 metres today," she said.