Team Kenya captain Lucas Wandia successfully defended the men’s 3, 000m steeplechase at the ongoing 24th Deaflympics in Caxias Do Sul, Brazil as Kenya took their medal haul to 14.
Wandia dominated the race at Sesi Centro Esportivo Athletics Track, winning in 9:25.27 ahead of World Deaf champion Alexander Bley (9:25.86) while another Kenyan, Peter Omari (9:30.130) settled for a bronze medal. The third Kenyan, Jacob Kipkemoi finished sixth in 9:47.55.
It was sweet revenge for Wandia, who had lost to Bley during the World Deaf Athletics Championships in Poland.
Wandia took charge of the race with two laps to go and never looked back with Omari trailing. However, Omari ran out of gas to finish third.
Wandia said they had planned for a 1,2, 3 finish but Kibet got injured to see their ambitions fail. He said coach Samuel Kibet was key to his title defence.
“The competition was easy for me due to the adequate training I had at the camp back in Nairobi, which helped me improve on my speed. We are also grateful for the government for their support as all our needs were met, making us focus on one thing, training for the championships,” Wandia said.
The Deaflympics record holder has been Team Kenya skipper for a decade now.
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