Kenya bags fifth gold at Special Olympics

Sunday March 17 2019

Kagondu Kariuki of Kenya won silver in the 4x25 metres relay at the  Special Olympics World Games in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates on March 16, 2019. PHOTO | COURTESY |

Kagondu Kariuki of Kenya won silver in the 4x25 metres relay at the Special Olympics World Games in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates on March 16, 2019. PHOTO | COURTESY |  

GEOFFREY ANENE
By GEOFFREY ANENE
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Kenya increased its medal tally to eight on Sunday after bagging its fifth gold medal through Kelvin Tanui in the boys'1500 metres at the ongoing Special Olympics World Games in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.

The 19-year-old runner bagged the M10 category title in four minutes, 18.47 seconds. Tanui was closely followed in second place by Moroccan Houdaifa Mohamed (4:22.32), while Canadian Stephane Piccinin took bronze (4:27.01).

On Saturday, swimmer Kagondu Kariuki triumphed in the 50 metres freestyle M09 category in 41.91 seconds. Awadh Alketbi Alketbi (UAE) and Justin Beliveau (USA) bagged silver and bronze in 45.61 and 46.31 respectively.

Runner Stella Chepkosgei led a 1-2 for Kenya in the girls' 1,500 metres as she clinched gold in the three-lap race in four minutes, 49.32 seconds. Irene Nzilani Ngina won silver in 5:21.39, while Canadian Audrey Vincent took bronze in 5:28.45.

Seventeen-year-old Sammy Joseph Kamande won silver in the cycling M05 category after finishing the 2K Time Trial in four minutes, 46 seconds. Palestinian Mohammedalmahdi Alaa bagged the title in 4:29.00. German Dennis Mellentin timed 4:48.00 to get bronze.

Kenya’s Shalel Tennah was fifth in the 2K Time Trial women’s event. She will have another chance to fight for a medal in the 5K Time Trial later on Sunday. Kamande is also programmed to race in 5K Time Trial this evening.

Kenya’s handball team lost 18-13 against Sweden. The East Africans are scheduled to face France on Monday.

Swimmer David Tsori bit the dust in Open Water Swimming in which he took part in 1500 metres. Two other swimmers from Kenya, Faith Nyagaki Muchiri and Sonali Ritesh Shah finished 50m freestyle F08 and F11 categories outside the medal bracket in fifth and fourth places respectively.

Charlton Waithaka Gatharia finished fifth in M13. In beach volleyball, Kenya lost by 2-0 sets against Syria in Division 1 category.

Kenya’s first gold medal came early on Saturday from the bocce competition in which the country was represented by Deepak Sanghvi, Effie Owuor, Marion Iravaya Obiri and Veer Rajesh.

Onesmus Mutinda bagged Kenya’s second gold medal the same day. Swimmers Faith Muchiri, Charlton Waithaka, Sonali Ritesh and Kagondu Kariuki guided Kenya to silver medal in the 4x25 metres relay.
The 2019 Special Olympics World Games have attracted over 170 countries.

Kenya is fielding 71 contestants taking part in football, basketball, volleyball, beach volleyball, handball, athletics, bocce, cycling, golf, swimming and Open Water Swimming.

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