After gold in Dubai, Sile now targets Olympic medal in Rio

By emmanuel sabuni
Apr 08, 2016
  • Nelly Sile with her home made Javelin throws.(Photo by Emmanuel Sabuni)

  • Nelly Sile with her father William at their home in Uasin Gishu.(Photo by Emmanuel Sabuni)

Nelly Sile is living proof that Sport has no boundaries or age limit. At 42, she could be considered a little bit too old for Sport. But this is when she is beginning her sporting career.

Just weeks ago she won a gold medal at the recently held International Paralympics Committee Athletics qualifiers in Dubai.

Sile, a javelin athlete was affected by polio when she was only six months but that did not deter her progress in sports and in life. She defied the odds and embraced sports, took up Javelin and Shotput.

"My father used to sell trees to give me transport to move around in different venues for training since we had nothing to depend on," she explained painting a picture of her lowly upbringing in her Ng'enyilel, Osorongai village, Uasin Gishu County.

She qualified for the 2010 Paralympics in Netherlands and the London Games buts he didn’t make the team. But her breakthrough came in March when she was listed amongst Kenya’s team of 14 that sought qualification in Dubai for Rio Paralympics.

The team scooped 16 medals- 4 gold, 6 silver and 6 bronze. “After winning gold in Dubai, my life will change drastically compared to the time when I was nobody in the village. A person who had no future but now I can have a say over my life as it has reduced over dependance on my parents,” Sile said hopefully.

Competing in the F55 won javelin gold during the Paralympics qualifiers and is preparing for the African Paralympics qualifiers in Morocco in May after just missing out on qualification.

Sila targets qualification in Morocco 

Sila needs to throw 46cm further to get the automatic qualifier after personal best of 14:54 in the United Arab Emirates competition.

"One of my throw went flat which if measured would have been 16m," Sile said ruing her missed chance but she stays hopeful that she can achieve the mark in the coming months and joinworld and Olympic champion Julius Yego, one of the confirmed Kenyans field athletes who will be in the games in Brazil.

“The little money I was given in Dubai will be of great importance in my life as I will use some cash to buy training kits together with a special javelin chair,” said the mother of two.

“My target is to win gold in Brazil since most of us disabled people are never taken serious. I have to prove that despite my condition, I am capable of winning gold in a sweet journey that I started in Dubai," she said flanked by her parents William and Emily.

Her determination is evident notwithstanding the difficult conditions she has to make do with. She has no coach or the luxury of the necessary training facilities she needs to train or improve and is content with the self made gym and a javelin stick she carved from a eucalyptus trees that.

"I have looking for gold for several years and it came to pass. But if I can get good training kits, I am in a position to win gold in every competition. I also train alone and if I can get a coach, I will do well in my career," she said.

Besides Sile, Henry Nzungi won gold in 400m competing in class T12, Samuel Mushai had two gold medals in 1,500m and 5,000m in class T11. The silver medalists were Wilson Bii who won two in 1,500m and 5,000m in T11, Jonathan Sum (1,500m-T37), Nelly Nasimiyu (1,500m T12), Stephen Wambua (1,500m-T47) and Hannah Ng'endo (400m-T12) while bronze medalist were Hannah Ng'endo (100m and 200m in T11), Egla Mosop (1,500m-T12), Henry Nzungi (200m-T12), John Njoroge (200m-T12) and Gilbert Lagat (400m-T12).