Defending Champion Daniel Kiptum from Nandi County retained his title as the winner of the sixth edition of the Deaf Half Marathon held on June 16, 2019 in Kericho. Kitpum won the Gold medal in the 2017 Sumsun Deaflympic Games held in Turkey.
Kiptum finished first in an impressive time of 1:11.16 edging out Lucas Wandia who came in second in a time of 1:11.58 and David Njeru who finished third in 1:12.00.
“I am happy to have defended my tittle successfully in the today’s marathon. Having elite athletes in the marathon made the completion very stiff. I will continue training hard ahead of the 1st Africa Deaf Athletics Championships which will be held in Kasarani in September,” said Daniel Kiptum.
In the women’s 21km category, Juster Kwamesa successfully retained her tittle cutting the tape in 1:42.01. Following closely was Priscah Naibin at 1:42.09 with Rebeca Matiko clocking 1:55.5 to finish third.
The annual event also included the 10KM races for both men and women where Geoffrey Kamia won in the men’s category in a time of 36:00 followed closely by Gilbert Kirui in 36:02 and Dennis Kiprop in third position at 37:00.
Kakamega’s Jentrix Dindi won in the women’s 10KM in a time of 47:46 with Mercy Moraa and Viola Jelimo coming in second and third places at 47:50 and 48:18 respectively.
The event saw the winners in the half marathon walk away with Ksh. 100, 000, Ksh. 50,000 and Ksh. 30,000 respectively. The 10KM race saw the first three awarded Ksh. 50,000, Ksh. 40,000 and Ksh. 30,000 respectively in cash prizes. Besides the cash prizes, the winners also got a direct qualification to the 1st African Deaf Championship scheduled to be held in Nairobi.
“We have had a good event today and we congratulate the winners. The event is of great significance in our calendar because it lets us know the form our athletes are in before the season begins. Those who finished in the top three in both 21KM and 10KM have automatically qualified for the 1st Africa Deaf Athletics Championships which will be held at Kasarani later this year,” said Bernard Banja, Secretary General, Deaf Athletics Association of Kenya (DAAK).
Safaricom sponsored the race to the tune of Ksh. 2.5 million. The race brings together deaf athletes from all corners of the country providing them a platform to display their talent. The Deaf Half Marathon is part of the Safaricom Athletics series. The first race in the series, the Henry Wanyoike Hope for the Future Run, took place on 8th June 2019 with Michael Njenga and Lidya Njeri emerging winners.