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Deaf athletes call for preps ahead of World Championships

World Junior 200m Deaf Athletics record holder Beryl Atieno Wamira and her teammates have urged the government to facilitate their preps ahead of the World Deaf Athletics Championships in Poland in August.

The event is scheduled for August 23 to August 28th.

I’m particularly excited about this championship because it’s been a while since we competed on such a big stage since the 2017 Deaf Olympics.

“So my expectations come August is to improve on my 2017 performance and if possible set a record because I’ve always wanted to be a renowned athlete just like the other many Kenyan athletes that paved the way for us,” she told Nairobi News.

Wamira who competes in the100m and 200m races, was the first Kenyan deaf athlete to win gold at the World Stage in 2012, Canada.

In the following year, she set the World Junior 200m Deaf Athletics record of 24.46 in Sofia, Bulgaria during the 22nd Summer World Junior Deaf Athletics at just 18 years old.

In 2016, She won bronze in 200m in her second trip to Bulgaria during the World Deaf Athletics Championship before bagging silver in 100m and 200m during the 23rd Summer Deaf Olympics in 2017, Turkey.

“We always seem to start our camps late, training for two weeks before any competition has failed us before. We either arrive late or have very poor performances because we didn’t polish up our techniques well enough.

“August is just a week away and we need to start the camp immediately. We are currently training individually and we know that is not as effective. We are not teaching ourselves anything new that is why we are in desperate need of a camp to sharpen our techniques. We want to have ample time training so that we go into this competition confident of winning,” she added.

Wamira who looks up to American track and field sprinter Allyson Felix who specialized in the 400m and 4 by 100 relays, has participated in five international competitions and has won nine medals; five gold, three silver and one bronze.

“We have to support all forms of sports especially when physically challenged athletes are included. Already we lack enough coaches, we at least need to get some sort of support in our training so that we can represent the country well while outside,” she said.