Kenya’s top Deaf golfer Isaac Makokha is eyeing gold at the 24th Summer Deaflympics to be held at Caxias Do Sul in Brazil from May 1 to 15.
On Tuesday, Makokha who plays off handicap 0.8 exuded confidence of clinching gold but named German Allen John as his main opponent.
In his Deaflympics debut in 2017 at Samsun in Turkey, Makokha finished number five and is ranked five in the world among Deaf golfers.
“In Turkey, I was under pressure and naïve. However, this time I’m well prepared and ready to go for gold even though German Allen John is y only worry. I have gained enough experience and lessons from various tournaments I have participated in across the World,” he said at Muthaiga Golf Club where the team is currently training.
The Vet Lab Golf Club golfer added: “I have learned a lot from John because we have played together. The lessons learned have shaped me.”
Other golfers who will represent Kenya are former Muthaiga Golf Club caddies handicap 7.5 Adan Wario and handicap 2.5 Gilbert Alikula. Makokha challenged his counterparts to work hard ahead of the global event to be held at Caxias Do Sul Golf Club.
He said he is keen to promote the game among the deaf adding that he is working with the Kenya Golf Union to grow the game among Deaf children.
In the first round, all golfers will play in the stroke play format from May 7 to 9. The best 16 will qualify for the quarter and semi-finals which will be played in a match play format on May 10 and the finals on May 11.
Alikula and Wario hailed Makokha for mentoring them. They said they are looking forward to a great global event. “If we get enough support, we can be at the same level as our hearing counterparts. I hope Allah will grant me a medal in Brazil,” said
The team trains under Vincent Wang’ombe and Njuguna Ngugi who is the KGU professional development officer. Wang’ombe who is the KGU chief executive officer also backed Makokha to go for gold.
“He will definitely bring home gold. His experience and exposure will come in handy during the tournament. Aden and Alikula are good golfers inexperienced and will make their debut in a major tournament in Brazil,” said Wang’ombe.