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Wanyoike in London Paralympics swansong

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NAIROBI, Kenya, February 10- Triple Paralympics gold medallist and record holder, Henry Wanyoike disclosed on Friday that the London 2012 Games that start on August 29 will mark his last appearance at the event.

Wanyoike, who won 5,000m gold at the Sydney 2000 and Athens 2004 Olympics as well as adding the 10,000m crown in the latter will compete in the 12 and a half-lap and full marathon races in London.

“I’m happy to have three world records and this Paralympics will be my last so that I may turn my focus now to marathons and charity races to give hope for those who cannot see,” Wanyoike, the blind runner who has been appointed as one of the ambassadors for London 2012 Paralympics Games, said.

“So far, my training is good and I did the Dubai Marathon and Hong Kong Half and I have one more marathon to do in May before the Paralympics and I’m well prepared. I’m not under any pressure to perform,” he added.

Wanyoike is set to travel to London in the next fortnight to shoot the promotional video that will be circulated worldwide to support the Paralympics Games.

The runner who holds the world marathon record for blind runners with his 2:31:31 effort at the 2005 Hamburg Marathon was speaking during a fete where the British High Commission in Kenya presented six wheelchairs to the country’s wheelchair basketball teams.

Dr. Peter Tibber, the British High Commissioner, said the gesture was part of activities to launch the 200 days to the Paralympics countdown that will be observed on Saturday.

“We have got around 4,200 athletes participating in 20 events and the Olympics and Paralympics in London will be a huge party for the competitors, spectators and the whole world and we are looking forward to it,” Tibber expressed.

He challenged the Kenyan team who missed out on London to use the donated equipment to ensure they improve their Africa ranking from fifth in addition to qualifying for the next Paralympics.

“I know you must be disappointed you did not make this one but you have four years to focus on making the next one,” he urged.

Wanyoike who was blinded by stroke in 1995 races with his guide Joseph Kibunja and remains one of his country’s runners who have ventured successfully in more than two distances.

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