NAIROBI, Kenya, Aug 30 – The Kenyan team to the 2018 World Masters Athletics Championship in Malaga, Spain was flagged off on Thursday morning at the Sports Ministry headquarters by Chief Administrative Secretary Hassan Noor.
The team of 32 athletes will depart the country next Tuesday for the 10-day championship that will gun off on September 6 in the Spanish city.
CAS Noor has urged the team to replicate the same performance shown by Kenya’s team to the African Senior Athletics Championship in Asaba, Nigeria early in the month where they finished top of the standings.
“Kenya is sports powerhouse in the world and we do not have a doubt that you will go and do well. We are confident that you have prepared well and as a ministry we have done everything to see to it that you are comfortable,” Noor, representing CS Rashid Echesa said.
Among the highlight athletes in the team is four-time 3,000m steeplechase champion Ezekiel Kemboi.
The team will be skippered by 2010 Commonwealth Games 400m champion Mark Mutai.
“As a team we are ready for the championship. We have trained well and the only remaining thing for us is to go out there and win the medals. We promised that we will do so,” Mutai told Capital Sport.
-35 and above
Masters Athletics is a championship organized for athletes over 35 years of age. During the last Championship in Perth, Australia, Kenya scooped 10 medals having sent a team of 15 athletes. This year, they have promised to do more.
At the same time, Mutai has urged the ministry to ensure that the Masters Athletes are rewarded same as the elite group of athletes who are rewarded with up to Sh1mn for gold medal wins.
“We will look at that but I don’t think it should be different. If anything, the Masters should be awarded even more,” CAS Noor said.
Among the athletes in the group of 32 is 66-year old Stephen Kamande who won silver in the 21km road race in Perth but will be doubling up with the 5,000m in Malaga.
He says he has trained well enough and believes he will bring both gold medals home.
“You see, the President told us old men to stop taking alcohol and engage in activities that build the nation and for me and others, we decided to come and do athletics. This is our calling and we enjoy doing it even at this advanced age,” Kamande said.
“I won silver in Australia but now, I want to go and get that gold medal. I feel my body is in very good shape,” he added with a wide grin on his face.
Team Kenya to Spain
William Bett – 5,000m and Half marathon, Peter Bii -5,000m, 8km cross country and 10km road race, Joshua Bondo -Shot Put, Discuss, Innes Chenonge -5,000m, 10km road race, Nelly Jeptanui -800m, 1,500m, Stephen Kamande -5,000m, half marathon, Ezekiel Kemboi -1,500m, 3,000m steeplechase, Rebecca Kerubo -shot Put, Discuss and hammer throw, Isaac Kiberenge -800m, 1,500m, Francis Kimeli -5,000m, half marathon, Robert Kimutai -5,000m, 3,000m steeplechase, 8km cross country, Joshua Kipchumba -5,000m, 10km road race, Dennis Kirui -800m and 1,500m, Eliud Kirui -5,000m, 3,000m steeplechase, Joyce Kirui -5,000m, 8km cross country, 10km road race, Carolyne Kola -long jump, tripple jump, Francis Komu -5,000m, half marathon, David Langat -5,000m, 8km cross country, 10km road race, Mark Mutai -400m, 200m, Tom Musinde -100m, 200m, Elizabeth Muthuka -400m, Samuel Ndereba -5,000m, 10km road race, Susan Nyageringa -1,500m, 2,000m steeplechase, Isabella Ochichi -5,000m, 10km road race, Elizabeth Olaba -Shot Put, hammer throw, discuss throw, Stephen Oyaro -5,000m, half marathon, Silas Sang -5,000m, half marathon, Khadijah Shungi -5,000m race walk, 10km race walk, Erick Sikuku -5,000m race walk, 10km race walk, Irene Wamuyu -200m, 400m, Florence Wasike -200m, 400m, Paul Yego -5,000m, 8km cross country, 10km road race.