By Reuben Olita
Busia Deaflmpics star Loreen Ng’ong’a was today accorded warm reception by the Department of Culture, Sports and Social Services.
Ng’ong’a was among over 40 athletes who represented the country at the 24th Summer Games in Brazil, emerging 5th in 5,000 metres in a time of 18 minutes, 30.4 seconds.
Ng’ong’a’s compatriot Grancy Kandagor took bronze after a tough race, coming third in a time of 18 Minutes, 16.44 Seconds in a race that was won by Sara-Elise Ruokonen from Finland in 17 Minutes, 33.03 seconds.
Kenya was the best placed African country in the 10th position in the medal table .Ukraine put
aside the turbulence at home and emerged champions with a total of 139 medals,62 gold,38 silver and 39 bronze, followed by USA and Iran in 2nd and 3rd positions respectively .
Kenya clinched a total of 24 medals; 5 gold, 7 silver and 12 bronze to emerge first in Africa while Algeria was second with five medals. Kenya finished 10th overall.
This performance not only surpassed that of last edition held in Turkey in 2017 (16 medals!; 5 gold, 5 silver, 6 bronze), but is the best ever since the country first took part in the Games in Copenhagen, Denmark in 1997.
Speaking through an interpreter, Ng’ong’a blamed her failure to be among medal winners owing to weather which was very cold with degree Celsius falling down to 10, something she said affected her
affected her performance.
Chief Officer Culture, Sports and Social Services, Maurice Odundo said despite weather challenges, Loreen shrugged off stiff opposition to finish in respectable position against world beaters.
” As Busia, we are very happy for Loreen and footballer, Zeitun, who carried the county’s flag at the games. Before Brazil, Loreen participated in the African Games in South Africa and won,” he said.
The Chief Officer thanked the Governor, H.E Sospeter Ojaamong for the efforts he has put to support sports including persons with disabilities adding that they will strive to ensure Loreen takes part in the Commonwealth Games in Burmingham in Scotland.
Ng’ong’as father and Bukhayo West Member of the County Assembly, Vincent Ojiambo said his daughter’s performance was a great achievement for the county, adding that the success has come about due to tender care they have accorded her.
He thanked the Governor for allocating funds to the department of sports and to County Executive Committee Member, Dr Janet Manyasi and Chief Officer,Maurice Odundo for supporting sporting activities in the county.
Loreen’s mother, Caroline Ng’ong’a said the success of her daughter came trough the support of the county government, exuding confidence her daughter will be in Kenya’s squad in the next games Taiwan.