Leading integrated communications service provider, Safaricom, Monday awarded Kenya’s Deaflympics medalists a Shs.12.8 million award, following their outstanding performance in the just-concluded 22nd Summer Deaflympics Games in Sofia, Bulgaria.
Simon Kibai Cherono, with 3 gold medals in the 1,500, 5,000 and 10,000 metres events, was the biggest winner of the day with a Shs.4 million cheque; 1 million shillings for each gold medal and an extra million for lowering the record in the 10,000 metres race.
Another big winner was Beryl Achieng, who doubled her pay cheque to Kshs. 2 million for lowering the world junior time over the 200 meters distance.
Daniel Kiptum received Kshs. 2.2 Million shillings for winning one gold medal and two silvers while Baxton Menjo took home Kshs.1.9 million for winning gold, silver and bronze in the 3000, 1500 and 800 metres respectively.
Other winners included Peter Toroitich who got Kshs. 900,000, Lucas Wandia-Kshs. 600,000 and bronze medalists David Kipkosgei, Rebecca Matiko, Michael Leting and David Wamura who received Kshs.300,000 each.
Speaking during the award ceremony, Safaricom CEO Bob Collymore, congratulated the winners for their outstanding performances.
“With each medal you won, and with your participation you made Kenya proud. Safaricom is particularly honoured because we believed in you and you have brought back excellent results. I would like to encourage the amateurs to continue training really hard as such a journey needs regular intense practice,” he said.
Chairman of the Deaf Athletics Association of Kenya, Jones Kirui, thanked Safaricom for their participation as it was a great incentive for the players to even perform better in the future.
He said, “With this kind of awards, everybody will work harder next time and Kenya will continue being on the fore front of these competitions. Thank you very much Mr. Collymore”.
Kenya won 17 medals — six gold, five silver and six bronze — placing the team in the eighth position globally out of the 72 countries that took part in the competition. That position also made Kenya Africa’s top team.
The team surpassed their Taipei medal performance where the Kenyan team bagged seven medals.
At position 35 globally, South Africa was the second-placed country in Africa with two silver and one bronze medal.
The Deaflympics Games which take place every four years are globally contested by Deaf and the Hard-of-Hearing athletes in different disciplines including athletics, football, basketball, volleyball and swimming.
The Kenyan Deaf Athletics Team proceeded to Sofia – Bulgaria for the Deaflympic Games on 26th of July. Safaricom had pledged to award the medalists based on their performance as follows: Shs 1,000,000 for every gold medal won, Shs. 600,000 for every silver medal won and Shs. 300,000 for every bronze medal won.
Telco also sponsored the team’s trials and training camp at the Nyayo National Stadium.