Daniel Kiptum from Nandi stunned the defending champion Peter Toroitich to be crowned the winner of the fifth edition of the Deaf Half Marathon held yesterday in Mombasa.
The Gold medalist of 2017 Sumsun Deaflympic Games held in Turkey finished first in an impressive time of 1:08:92 edging out Martin Gachie who came in second in a time of 1:09:13 and the defending champion Peter Toroitich who closed the podium finish in 1:13:56.
It was a tough call on the track as Kiptum, Toroitich and Martin kept overtaking each other along the way hoping to emerge the victor. Kiptum however, outsprinted the rest and raced to the finish line crossing first.
Simon Kibai, the Gold medalists in 10,000m and 5,000m Sumsun Deaflympic Games was expected to headline the marathon but missed out due to a shoulder injury.
“Today’s race was tough and very key to me. I hoped to race against my senior Simon, but he missed out due to injuries. I was position two in the last year’s Half Marathon held in Meru and I am so happy to have triumphed this year,” said Daniel Kiptum.
In the women’s 21km category, Juster Kwamesa was the first to cross the finish line in a time of 2:15:70, followed by Naibin Mushitoi clocking 2:15:74 and Mercy Nyangi finishing third in 2:16:64
The annual event also included the 10KM races for both men and women where Lucas Wanjiru won in the men’s category in a time of 36:04 followed by Kokobi Omari in a time of 36:14 with John Mwangi finishing third in a time of 56:07.
Rose Mushitoi won in the women category in a time of 50:09 as Alice Atieno and Nancy Wangari came in second and third positions at 1:39:04 and 1:40:17 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 winner, first and second runners up in the 10KM race were awarded in Ksh 50,000, Ksh40,000 and Ksh30,000 respectively in cash prizes.
“We chose Mombasa as a venue to create more awareness on the marathon in the Coastal region considering we registered few athletes to the national team from the region. We are glad the marathon has been very successful.
We will use the marathon to select athletes to represent the country in the upcoming deaf champions this year,” said Benard Banja, Secretary General, Deaf Athletics Association of Kenya (DAAK).
As the sponsorship partner, Safaricom PLC sponsored the marathon to a tune of KES 2.5M. The race brings together deaf athletes from all corners of the country providing them a platform to display their talent.
“We celebrate diversity and exclusivity in all aspects. To us exclusivity goes beyond just hiring people with disabilities, it is about giving them the same opportunities for personal and career growth. This is why we have consistently supported this marathon to its fifth edition. Giving deaf athletes an opportunity such as this is for sure transformational,” said, Charles Kare, Acting Director Consumer Business, Safaricom.