Kenya added another silver to her medal tally on Tuesday night at the ongoing 24th Summer Deaflympics 2021 Games in Caxias Do Sul, Brazil.
The glittering performance was achieved by none other than Sharon Jeptarus Bitok from Eldoret.
The 24 year old Iten based athlete went head to head with other strong competitors from Europe in the opening lap.
She took command of the race in the remaining rounds until the final lap where she was eclipsed by Sydorenko of Ukraine after running out of breathe, forcing her to settle for the silver in a time of 4.49.98. Sydorenko cut the tape in 4.49.31 while Mio Okada of Japan was third in 4.52.78.
“I’m glad that the medal has come in my debut in the Deaflympics,” Jeptarus said.
“We had strategised for the race with my compatriots but I felt I was not feeling well.
“So I decided to go much faster, and alone, to end the contest as soon as possible,” she explained.
Jeptarus reiterated that the foul weather that engulfed the Sesi Centro Esportivo Athletics track in the night did not affect her performance in any way.
“I had acclimatised to the cold Brazilian weather by training at the freezing end of Karura Forest while doing my build ups for the global championships back in Nairobi,” she said.
“I will now head for the women’s 800m which I’m optimistic to win,” she said.
Last year, Jeptarus took part in 1500m and 800m in the World Deaf Championships in Poland, finishing fourth and sixth respectively.
Meanwhile, Kenyan Alice Atieno Odhiambo missed the women’s javelin bronze medal by a whisker finishing 4th.
“I’m happy with my performance, actually I’m equally surprised with my performance,” she said.
Her coach Carolyne Anyango Kola believes the athlete has great potential to go far in the future.
“Her initial throws were feeble, I was almost losing hope, then she picked up the momentum and covered distances in the subsequent rounds which I could not actually believe.
“With government support and harnessing of talents from the grassroots, javelin can reach greater heights in Kenya,” Kola said.
And in the women’s long jump, Anzazi Chaka Nyundo put Kenya on the global map on Tuesday evening by booking a berth in the finals where she finished 6th.
“Nyundo has made me super proud.
“Reaching the finals shows Kenya has great potential that is yet to be unearthed.
“We can do better in fringe sports like the long jump,” field coach Carolyne Anyango Kola said.
The athletics action takes a break on Wednesday May 11, 2022.
So far Team Kenya has10 medals in Brazil:
Men’s 10000M-Simon Cherono Kibai
Men’s 1500M- Ian Wambui Kahinga
4X400M Mix Relay
Men’s 10000M- Peter Toroitich
Women’s 10000M-Serah Wangari Kimani
Women’s 1500M- Sharon Jeptarus Bitok
Men’s 10000M- David Kipkogei
Women’s 10000M- Grancy Kandagor
Men’s Javelin- Kelvin Kipkogei
Women’s 400M – Linet Fwamba Nanjala