Taita Taveta County athletes out ran all the others from the coast region in yesterday inter county cross country championship held at Danson Mwanyumba stadium in Wundanyi.
Eighteen out of the twenty athletes who will be representing the Coast Region in the forthcoming national cross country competition to be held in Nairobi in two weeks’ time came from the area. Kwale, Kilifi and Lamu participated in the competition was graced by the area governor Granton Samboja.
The athletes from the County dominated all the five categories.
Taita Taveta led with 88 points followed at a distance by Kwale with 118 points. Position three and four were Kilifi and Lamu with 164 and 175 points respectively.
Leading the pack was Panuel Mkungo who took 28.75 to win the 10 kilometre senior men’s race followed by Lameck Mwakio (29.15) while Samuel Msafari (31.45) finished in the third position respectively.
In the under 20 junior women’s race, Taita Taveta County took the top five positions where Aphline Akoth who took 37.45 emerged the winner followed in second position by Ndunge Mbilo (38.15), Dinaice Mwai (39.55) finished third followed by Ruth Kaige and Rozinah Msafari in the fourth and fifth positions respectively.
If you want to excel in sports work hard, maintain high standards of discipline and avoid drugs, Governor Granton Samboja urged while celebrating the champions.
He at the same time promised to start high altitude training camp where the inter county champions will train in the next one week before the 10th February 2018 competition to be held at the Uhuru Gardens in Lang’ata Nairobi county.
Apart from awarding the top athletes with Sh 100,000 and Sh 50,000 respectively, the county boss said that the first three in the men’s category and three from the women’s category would be employed by his government.
Samboja was impressed with the spirit shown by 16 year-old Form Two student of Lake Kenyatta Secondary, Lamu County, Elvis Mugweru and awarded him Sh5,000 for being the youngest participant and managed to finish the 8km junior event.
During an interview, the sports minister Bigvai Mwailem confirmed that the six athletes would be put in the county’s payroll with effective from this week.
Mwailem at the same time echoed his boss’s sentiments that a training centre similar to that of Kapsapet would be initiated where all coast athletes were welcomed to do their thing.
Wundanyi area is the highest point in coast region and training in such altitude will shape the coastal athletes, insisted the sports minister.
The top women athlete Aphline Akoth and Mkungo thanked the county for offering them jobs promising to do their best in the upcoming event in Nairobi next weekend.
The event was attended by Ibrahim Hussein, Director of IAAF Regional Development Centre based in Nairobi, which serves 23 English speaking nations of Africa.
Present during the occasion were Coast region Athletics Kenya chair Dimmy Kisalu, County Trade, Tourism and Cooperatives CECM Getrude Shuwe, Lands, Environment and Natural resources CECM Clarice Mnyambo and Education and Libraries CECM Daniel Makoko
Source: Kenya News Agency