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Kalonzo party for Paralympians

Tuesday August 28 2012

PHOTO | KIRATIANA FREELON Kenya’s Paralympics team captain Henry Kirwa (foreground) and team mates relax at the Paralympics Village in London ahead of the opening ceremony on August 28, 2012.

PHOTO | KIRATIANA FREELON Kenya’s Paralympics team captain Henry Kirwa (foreground) and team mates relax at the Paralympics Village in London ahead of the opening ceremony on August 28, 2012. NATION MEDIA GROUP

By KIRATIANA FREELON Special Correspondent in London and AFP

Kenya’s team to the London Paralympic Games was on Tuesday night treated to a reception at the Games Village by Vice-President Kalonzo Musyoka and remained upbeat ahead of the opening ceremony on Wednesday night.

The first Kenyans in action will be Samuel Muchai and Emmanuel Cheruiyot in the first round of the 1,500 metres of the T11 category (for athletes with different degrees of visual impairment) from 11.00am London time (1.00am Kenyan time) on Thursday.

“We have no injuries - just minor knocks here and there that can be handled,” general team manager Joseph Ochieng said in London on Tuesday.

Kenya’s 14 athletes will compete in seven different categories at the August 29 to September 9 London Paralympic Games as follows:

T46: Category for track and field amputees; Athletes: Abraham Tarbei (all three to double up in the 1,500m and 5,000m).

T12: For track and field category for visually impaired; Athletes: Henry Kirwa (team captain – 1,500m and 5,000m).

T13: Class for visually impaired; Athletes: David Korir (1,500m and 800m).

T11: Category for visually impaired; Athletes: Wilson Bii, Emmanuel Cheruiyot, Francis Thuo (all doubling up in the 5,000m and 1,500m); Samuel Muchai (1,500m); Henry Wanyoike (marathon).

T12: Class for visually impaired; Athletes: Anne Ngendo (400m, 200m, 100m); Egla Mosop (1,500m).

T13: For visually impaired; Athletes: Henry Nzungi (400m, 200m).

Field events: F57: For wheelchair field athletes; Athletes: Mary Nakhumicha (javelin, shot putt, discus).

Guide runners: Jacob Tanui (for Wilson Bii), James Karanja (Francis Thuo), Robert Tarus (Emmanuel Cheruiyot), James Boit (Samuel Muchai) and Joseph Kibunja (Henry Wanyoike).

Team officials: Francis Kibuchi (head coach/marathon), Michael Omondi (sprints coach), Ruth Chumo, Celestine Buluti, Solomon Maswai (field events coaches), Titus Kilika (physiotherapist), Dr Gundo (team doctor), Martin Okiyo (chef de mission), Joseph Ochieng (general team manager) and Ronald Milare (Kenya National Paralympics Council).

China are tipped to repeat their gold rush of four years ago but hosts Britain aiming to push them hard and give home fans more reasons to cheer.

Just over two weeks after the Olympics closing ceremony, organisers have transformed sports venues and accommodation in readiness for the arrival of some 4,200 athletes with a disability and the 11-day finale to a summer of sport.

Queen Elizabeth II is due to open the Games, with the Paralympic cauldron lit using flames kindled on Britain’s four highest peaks.

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