Team Kenya to the World Para athletics Championships returned to the country to a low key reception yesterday after a dismal performance in the games which were held between July 14 and 23 in London, England.
Kenya National Paralympics Committee sent 19 athletes and 11 guides but managed only two golds from the 10-day competitions. In a squad that had several other medal prospects, only Samuel Mushai and his guide James Boit were the luminaries in the team of 30 who traveled to London.
Mushai, competing in the 5,000m and 1,500m T.11 races, won the two golds for Kenya. There were five other athletes who competed but did not make to the finals. The rest did not compete after arriving at the event late due to visa issues.
It was a successful outing for Mushai and Boit who went to London in the advance party for classification review but other athletes are aggrieved.
“I had really trained well for this championships and I did not feel good about missing out on the competition. This was the best chance for some of us to qualify for 2020 Tokyo Paralympics but we missed out. It is going to be difficult to get another chance for qualification,” said an athlete who sought anonymity.
On the flip side, KNPC president Agnes Oluoch intimated that the trip was a success for Team Kenya. “The tournament was good but the competition was tough for our athletes. We did well because competing with the world is very tough and we appreciate we came back with two medals. The weather was so cold but we managed,” said Oluoch, who admitted that some athletes arrived in London and went to the track straight away.