In Summary
  • Virus restrictions take toll on athlete
  • Ex-junior champ cannot train in her home county as there is no single running track nor standard gym

Beryl Wamira, the reigning World Deaf Athletics junior women’s 200m record holder, has decried lack of training facilities in her home county, Siaya.

The 24-year-old athlete yesterday told Nation Sport that she had not trained since March 19, due to lack of “a conducive training ground in the county.”

Before that Wamira was training at Moi International Sports Centre, Kasarani in Nairobi. Her plans of training at the dusty Moi Stadium track in Kisumu hit a dead end after she learnt that Kisumu County had closed all sports facilities in the region, to curb the spread of coronavirus.

And with the coronavirus cases in the country on the rise, the record holder said she will only travel back to Nairobi to resume training after the pandemic has been contained.

“It is impossible to train here (Siaya) because there is not even a single standard track and a gymnasium. I really want to carry on with my training, but I am not travelling back to Nairobi until the government assure us that it is safe to move,” said Wamira.

She competes in 100m, 200m, 4x100m and 4x400m races.

Wamira set a new world deaf junior women’s 200m record at the Deaflympics in Bulgaria in 2013, when she clocked 24:46. The record still stands.

At the inaugural Africa Deaf Athletics Championships held in September last year in Nairobi, Wamira won gold in 100m and 200m in a time of 12.87 sec and 26.17 sec respectively.

Despite staring at a possibility of not training for quite a long time because of the pandemic, the sprinter maintained that her target is to achieve the late Florence Griffith Joyner’s world record in women’s 100m and 200m of 10.49 sec and 21.34 sec respectively, set way back at the 1988 Seoul Olympic Games.

“Since most of the events will be postponed, I believe enough time will be available to make for the lost time. So I still believe it is possible to achieve the target no matter the situation now,” said Wamira.

She called on the Siaya County government to support sports talent in the region by putting up a sporting facility in every sub-county.

The county government is constructing the 20,000-seater Siaya County Stadium in within Siaya town.

Wamira had planned to begin her competitive season proper at the National Deaf Track and Field Championships that were scheduled for May 29 and 30 in Nairobi.

She has also pencilled the fourth edition of Word Deaf Athletics Championships from July 18-25 in Poland in her programme.
Kenya team head coach Samuel Kibet said they were waiting for new dates for the two events, together with others that had been planned for this year.