Kenyan race walkers have come together to promote the sport in the country ahead of world events like the world championships, Commonwealth Games, Olympic Games and other continental championships.
After registering great results at the World Race Walking team challenge in Muscat Oman early this month, the walkers have vowed to work together to improve the discipline and bring medals to the nation just like any other event.
Africa under 20 10,000m race walk champion Samson Dominic Ndigiti, world under 20 10,000m race walk champion Heristone Wanyonyi and newcomer Sylvia Kemboi have come up with a unified structure that will propel their talents to greater heights in walk, the discipline that has started gaining fame in the country.
Speaking in Mumias during the 4th and final leg of Athletics Kenya track and field, Ndigiti, the world under 18 10,000m bronze medalist said that the challenge in Oman gave them another reason to work extra hard to win medals.
“We were lucky to represent the country at the Oman. We were happy when Athletics Kenya organized such a race. We did what we could do and it was not easy to get that chance. We thank God that each one of us completed the race and going ahead especially this year, we have a busy calendar like the Commonwealth Games, Africa Games and World championships,” said Ndigiti after finishing second in Mumias.
Ndigiti also won the Kisumu event last month and said he was going to do his training for better results.
“In Oman, what I learnt was that when we have been running in the morning and evening is not good, we need to train at noon to burn our bodies. In Oman, we competed at noon, with hot sun and hot surface to adopt different climate changes. Now, if we work together with team mates, we shall rectify small mistakes that we made. Finishing that race without mistakes, it shows that good walkers are here in Kenya and we are coming. This is our time to showcase our talent,” said Ndigiti.
After setting a new national record at Muscat, world under 20 10,000m champion, who for the first time defeated Ndigiti in Mumias, Wanyonyi said they represented the country and gained experience.
“We arrived there and found that the course was so challenging compared to Kenya, which we thought it could be the same. We found out that the course was hilly and we are used to training on a flat course at the Kasarani stadium,” he said.
Going forward, Wanyonyi said they want to work together for glorious Kenya in walks.
“Setting the national record, it was unbelievable for me and as walkers, we shall continue breaking records because we have the Commonwealth Games and we shall continue improving. Every time we go out, we need to improve each day. We need speed work and endurance for the commonwealth senior race,” added Wanyonyi who will be chasing to defend his title in Cali, Colombia.
After winning the Kisumu meeting and finishing second at the Nyayo event, upstart Sylvia Kemboi added another title by winning in Mumias with hopes of representing Kenya at the World Championships, Africa Games as well as the Commonwealth Games.
“I have never represented the country in any event but my recent performance is a sign that I can get a chance to compete for Kenya in the other major championships,” she said in Mumias after winning in Mumias over the weekend.
The walker, who trains alone in Kaptagat said that she has been borrowing a training programme from Ndigiti and Wanyonyi is ready to conquer the world.
“Initially we had never met but we used to share programmes. I started competing in 2017 but I have been missing qualifying time but now my body is in good form ahead of the Commonwealth Games, world championships,” said Kemboi.