Kenyan youngsters on Saturday continued to make history when Dominic Samson became the first Kenyan to win a race walk medal at a world athletics event with bronze in the boys’ 10,000m event at the World Under-18 Championships at Kasarani.
The 17-year-old Samson, who is a Form Two student at Kiandege Secondary School in Nyamira County, delivered a personal best of 41 minutes and 25.78 seconds, losing the battle to Yao Zhang from China, who claimed gold in world under-18 lead time of 41:12.01.
Salavat Ilkaev from Russia, who was entered as a neutral athlete, won silver also in a personal best of 41:24.17.
“This is historic moment for me…I am over the moon,” said Samson, who draws inspiration from legendary athlete Nyandika Maiyoro. “My target was gold but I still thank God for this far. I appreciate my achievement.”
Samson said being the the only Kenyan in the race, made him nervous competing against some of the experienced youth. “I gave it my all and thank Kenyans for their overwhelming support,” said Samson, who embraced race walk while in class six.
Samson, who was representing Kenya for the first time after his debut at the previous 2015 Championships in Cali, Colombia failed owing to documents, thanked his school’s principal Shadrack Nyantika and coach Anyona for their encouragement and support. “They say angels are everywhere and I thank God for them,” said Samson.
“The penalty is what slowed me down and I was unable to recover.”