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Deaflympics: Wangari and Kandagor earn Kenya first medals

Serah Kimani Wangari clocked 38:26.41 Seconds to give the country silver in women’s 10,000m on Sunday morning.

Race favourite Grancy Kandagor also braved a bad fall to settle for bronze in a time of 38 Minutes, 38.93 Seconds.

However, the blistering pace was too hot for Kenyan Winn Bugosi to handle in the punishing Brazil cold weather.

Bugosi dropped out of the energy sapping race which was won by Mexican Lourdes Ponce Juarez who timed 38 Minutes, 06.59 Seconds.

“I started well by leading almost in all the laps, but I slowed down towards the end,” said Wangari.

“I think I got exhausted in the final lap, my finishing power was weak,” said Wangari.

Wangari says she gave herself a pat on the back after ending the competition in the medal bracket.

“I feel I really tried my best, I really worked to get this silver, I felt totally worn out in the final lap but my spirit kept telling me I could do it, so I held on to the tape,” Wangari stated.

According to Wangari, her objective in the Games was to get a medal, a feat she finally achieved.

“I wanted to ensure when I go back home (to Kenya) I had something to show for,” she stated.

Wangari blamed the brutal cold weather for slowing up her pace, especially in the final lap.

“It was my first time competing in such a terribly cold environment, it made my knees weak, but I kept on assuring myself that I have a goal to reach, I’m glad I did it,” she said.

The victory has buoyed Wangari who is optimistic of another podium finish when she takes a double in women’s 5,000m this Saturday.

“I strongly believe I can get a gold in the coming race because it’s much shorter than the 10,000m we did today,” she said.

Kandagor explained they had planned for a 1,2,3 finish but her fall and Bugosi’s opting out thwarted the plan.

“The fall affected my momentum, I really tried to pick up myself but I could not get back to my initial rhythm.

“Nonetheless, I’m happy with the bronze,” Kandagor said.

Head coach Samuel Kibet reiterated that the Kenyan contingent had planned for a podium sweet but unfortunately things did not go their way.

“Our best girl Grancy was destined for gold unfortunately she fell, but Wangari took up the challenge to give us silver,” the coach said.

“To me it’s a worthy performance since its the first time that Kenya is getting medals in long distance in the women category.

“I think that my girls put up a good show against a pool of strong competitors.

“I’m glad that we have finally opened the medals chapter in this Deaflympics.

“I’m confident the remaining categories, especially athletics, will have good performances in the coming days,” Kibet said.

Kibet admitted their paces were challenged by the unfamiliar weather.

The tactician also confirmed that David Wamira was out of the.men’s 100m final which was slated later on Sunday after developing a muscle pull.

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