Kirwa bags Kenya’s third gold in Rio

By sportsnewsarena correspondent
Sep 16, 2016
  • Henry Kirwa in the 5000m race in London. He won the T13 5000m gold in Rio on Thursday.

Kenya’s Henry Kirwa comfortably sped past early leader and defending Moroccan Champion El Amin Chentouf to win the men’s 5,000m T13, adding to the 1,500m T13 bronze he won four days previously.

Kirwa had sat on Chentouf’s shoulder for the entire race as the field stretched out behind them, and it looked just a matter of time before he made his move.

That moment came with 100m to go, and Chentouf was unable to respond as he crossed the line for silver with Tunisia’s Bilel Aloui (14:33.33) taking bronze in a new T13 world record. "I planned this four years ago,” said Kirwa who timed 14:17.32 in Thursday’s race.

“I went home (after London 2012) and said ‘Let me improve my tactics’. Today my plan worked." "I never let him (Chentouf) go far because I know in finishing I am very tough. I remained behind all the time. The guy is very tough and I thought he maybe could go faster so I stayed close.”

Kirwa’s time was within the world record but as a T12 runner his timing and that of the silver winner Aloui, who also competes in the same category do not hold as world records. Chentouf, the bronze winner who clocked 14:21.04 now holds the world record.

The Kenya team of nine athletes has so far impressively won managed to win three gold and two bronze medals ,which has the nation ranked 30th.

Nancy’s Chelagat qualified for the Women’s 1500m T11 final after placing second in fast heat Jin Zheng of China raced to a Paralympics record of 4:47.36 as the Kenyan raced to an African record of 4:48.70.

Chelagat had missed out on qualification in the 200m sprints where she palced fourth two days ago.

At the same time, Nigeria’s Ndidi Nwosu earned the West African nation its eighth gold medal in Rio .

She was a shock winner of the women’s up to 73kg event, clearing 140kg to upstage heavy favourite and defending champion Souhad Ghazouani of France and the seventh powerlifter from Nigeria to win gold.

“I feel happy; I feel great,” said a very excited Nwosu after pulling off one of the biggest upsets of the entire powerlifting competition.

“It was not me that lifted it, it was the power I’ve got. “She is the champion and I didn’t think I could beat her, but I drew on the power I’ve got and did it.” Nigeria now has eight gold, two silver and two bronze medals and lies 13th in the medal standings.