Peter Toroitich and Juster Kwamesa emerged winners of the fourth edition of Safaricom Deaf Half Marathon in Meru County on Sunday.
The races, which started at Meru National Polytechnic, took athletes to Makutano Township along Meru – Nanyuki highway and back to Meru National Polytechnic grounds.
Participants completed 21km and 10km races. Kapenguria-based Toroitich timed 1hour, 11:02min to win men’s race, followed by Simon Kibai from Iten (1:11:24) and Daniel Kiptum from Kapsabet (1:12:19).
In the women’s category, Kwamesa from Kisii County won in 1:46:33, followed by Timiria Barasa and Deonida Okiago who clocked 1:58:22 and 2:06:18 respectively.
Both winners expressed hope of qualifying to represent the country in the 23rd edition of Deaflympic Games in Tokyo.
“It was not an easy task but I thank God I emerged the winner. I am hoping to be one of those who will represent Kenya at the Deaflympics,” Kwamesa said through a sign language interpreter.
She said the third edition of the race held in Bomet was tougher compared to yesterday’s race in Meru.
Men’s winner Toroitich said both the weather and terrain was favourable to him.
“I never thought I would win this race but I appreciate the effort put in by my trainers who kept encouraging me and telling me I can win,” Toroitich explained. The competition brought together 112 participants.
Deaf Athletics Association of Kenya secretary-general Benard Banja said winners of the series will qualify to represent Kenya in Deaflympic Games.
Men’s 21km: 1.Peter Toroitich - 1:11:02; 2. Simon Kibai- 1:11:24; 3.Daniel Kiptum- 1:12:18; 4.David Njeru- 1:12:32; 5.Martin Gachie - 1:14:16; 6. Sora Dida- 1:19:31; 7. Kioko Musyoki- 1:23:47; 8. Lazaro Onyango - 1:30:06.
Women’s 21km: 1. Juster Kwamesa - 1:46:33; 2. Timiria Barasa - 1:98:22; 3. Deonida Okiago - 2:02:17; 4. Mercy Tanui - 2:06:18; 5.Electine Aoko- 2:12:58.