Kenyan Paralympians set lofty targets for Rio 2016
29 July 2016, 20:45
Nairobi (Xinhua) -- They do not share the same glare of the spotlight as their Olympics bound counterparts but that has dissuaded Kenyan Paralympians against setting lofty targets ahead of the Rio 2016 Games in Aug.
One of its stars and triple Beijing 2008 Paralympics gold medalist, Henry Kirwa, has promised to break two world records at the Summer Games that will start in the Brazilian capital soon after the Olympics conclude.
Kirwa who also set three world records in Beijing, the 1500m and 5000m in T13 and 10000m in the T46 categories is eyeing to erase his own standards in the shorter distances after and underwhelming London 2012 outing in the UK.
He is expecting tough challengers from the North African athletes of Morocco and Tunisia but is confident he will have the measure of them come Rio.
"During the Africa championships in Tunisia and Morocco, we managed to learn some of the tactics our major competitors use and we are working on overcoming them," the men 1500m bronze winner in London said.
Team Kenya' s Paralympics track and field coach, Ruth Chumo, tipped the side to bring more than the six medals they won in London -- two golds, two silvers and two bronzes - when in Brazil.
The squad will train for a month and depart for Rio two weeks before the start of the Paralympics as opposed to the ten-day build-up they had for London.
"The Kenya National Paralympics Committee will sponsor our training for the first half and Government takes over the rest," Chumo added.
Abraham Tarbei (1,500m, T46) and Samuel Muchai (1500m, T11) won the gold medals, the former in a 3:50.15.
Nancy Chelang' at Koech who took the women' s 200m T11 gold during the May qualifiers in Morocco is also keen on landing a Paralympics title.
"I have been working hard in my training and believe God will fulfill my dream," the 20 year-old assert.
The Paralympians are scheduled to travel between September 5 and 18 with Kenya represented by 26 track and field athletes, a power lifter and a para rower.
RIO 2016 PARALYMPICS TEAM
Track and Field
Samuel Muchai Kimani T11 1500m and 5000m, Wilson Bii T11 1500m ,5000m, Benard Koskei Kipng' etichT12 5000m and 1500m, Henry Kiprono Kirwa T12 1500m and 5000m, Henry Nzungi Muendo T12 400m and 200m , Erick Kiptoo Sang T11 1500m and 5000m, Mary Waithera Njoroge T11 1500m, Wesley Sang Kimeli T46 1500m and 400m, Stanley Misik Kipkoech T46 1500m, Nancy Chelan'gat Koech T11 1500m and 200m, Jonathan Sum Kipchumba T37 1500m , Hanah Ngendo Mwangi T12 200m and 400m, Gilbert Lagat Kiprugut T12 400m,Sylvia Olero Atieno F44 Discus throw, James Onyinkwa Mangerere F57 Javelin throw.
Gabriel Magu Wanjiku Power Lifting (59kg), Itaken Timoi Kipelian AS Men' s Single Sculls, Para-rowing.
Competition partners/ Guide runners: James Kipkemboi Boit, Benard Kipkoech Korir , Benard Kipkurui Terer, Joseph Erang Rotina, Geoffrey Kiplagat Rotich, Tom Charito Sande