Deaflympic athletes protest for failing to join camp

David Kipkogei, the 2013 Deaflympics 10,000m bronze medalist is among thirteen athletes and 16 disciplines whose dreams of competing for the country at the Deaflympic Games in Turkey came to an end after they failed to join the rest of athletes in the camp at Kasarani stadium.

Coming from Elgeyo Marakwet County, Kipkogei has been a regular member of Deaflympic events when he won double gold at 2009 Deaflympic Games in 2009 in Taipei, Taiwan. He will not travel to Samsun City to win medals as he did in 10,000m and 5,000m cloaking 30:30.27 and 14:31.68 respectively.

With his ambitions to defend his 10,000m bronze medalist he won in 2013 at Sofia Bulgaria were thwarted as Kipkogei on Friday moved to Transparency International (T.I) in Eldoret, Kenya Human Rights Commission and Ethics and Anti Corruption Commission (EACC) in Eldoret to seek audience over his tribulations.

The 2012 World Deaf athletics 10,000m silver medalist finished fourth during the Deaflympics national trials held last month at Eldoret Kipchoge Keino Stadium timing 31:57.9 which was within the standard A qualifying time of 33:15.0.

“I was left out the team ahead of Deaflympic games. So am here seeking answers to why am not at Kasarani with the rest of the team,” Kipkogei posed while at T.I offices in Eldoret together with other Monica Tenai among others.

But according to the ministry of Sports Director of Administration Harun Komen, the organisers were only taking top three athletes to represent the country.

“Kenya has many talents and many athletes qualified in some races but we were given three slots for each race so we could take everyone,” said Komen.

Kipkogei has won three medals for Kenya added that since winning 2013 bronze medal, Komen said the plans are underway to pay athletes.

“He is not the only athlete who has not been paid. There are a number of them but we are working out to pay them before the end of this financial year,” assured Komen.

The same sediments were echoed by Ministry’s chief Liaison Officer Caroline Kariuki who said the country’s top runners qualified for the events but they could not accommodate everyone.

“Each country must have three or less representatives and we could not put each qualifier on board,” she added.

Affected athletes include

  1. Ann Nasimiyu 1,500m/800m
  2. Timina Barasa 1,500m
  3. Jentrix Dindi 10,000m
  4. David Kipkogei 10,000m
  5. Linet Nanjala 400mH
  6. Rebecca Matiko 400mH/800m
  7. Janet Wairimu 400mH
  8. Dennis Kiprop 400mH
  9. Walter Malenje 400mH
  10. Aida Odera 800m
  11. Linet Wanjala 400m
  • Stephen Okoth javelin
  • Shadrack Kemboi javelin
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