Kenya’s Deaf athletics head coach Samuel Kibet has expressed confidence the team will outdo last edition’s medal haul at the 24th Summer Deaflympics in Caxias do Sul in Brazil.
Kenya bagged a total of 16 medals; five gold, five silver and six bronze medals during the 23rd edition of the Summer Deaflympics held at Samsun in Turkey in 2017.
The coach indicated that the Kenyan Deaflympics team is eyeing to lower a number of world records at the Deaflympics slated for the city in the Southern part of Brazil from May 1 - 15.
“We have two main targets here. One is to improve on the performance, and two is to see how many records we can break. In the last Deaflympics, we had 16, we are praying this time round to go higher and get 20 medals,” the tactician said.
Team Kenya comprises of 28 men and 18 women and has been setting a residential camp at the Moi International Sports Center, Kasarani since April 4 ahead of the crucial competition.
Kibet added, “We have selected a strong track and field team for the Summer Deaflympics. The team is ready for the assignment. They have improved since we started training. We want to ensure they maintain top shape ahead of their departure to Brazil.”
The tactician touted Daniel Kiptum (marathon) Simon Kibai (5,000m and 10,000m), Lucas Wandia (3,000m steeplechase) and John Koech (1,500m) to lower their records at the 15-day event.
He also expressed optimism that his sprinters will have a medal bracket finish in Brazil.
“According to our assessment in training, all of them have generally improved and all of them are all at the same level.
“The 200m junior world record holder Beryl Wamira is also capable of breaking the senior record.”
Wamira, who has been the women’s captain since 2012, her sister Rael and brother David have all earned slots in the Kenyan national team and are putting in the extra work with their eyes set on receiving honours in the women’s 100m race.
“We are ready especially the women’s team and I know we will do well. We all have individual goals but we are going to win as many gold medals as possible,” Wamira said.
The remaining members of Team Kenya, which also intends to field athletes in the javelin, hummer and discuss competitions, is set to leave for Brazil later this week after the first batch of athletes comprising the Women football team landed in Caxias do Sul on Tuesday.