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Visually Impaired Kenyan Defies The Odds

  • By Duncan Larkin
  • Published Jan. 26, 2012
  • Updated Jan. 26, 2012 at 11:16 AM UTC
Henry Wanyoike (left) poses with his guide. Photo: Gulf News

He’s a double Paralympic gold medalist.

Henry Wanyoike of Kenya isn’t letting his disability get in his way. The visually impaired runner is taking part in the 10K at the Dubai Marathon on Friday.

Wanyoike is the world-record holder in the 5000m and 10,000m events at the Paralympics.

“In 1995 when I was 21, I suffered a mild stroke,” he told Gulf News. “It affected my optic canals and lost my sight. I was a good athlete when it happened as I used to regularly win schools athletic events. I thought I will never be able to run again.”

Most runners would give up after facing this obstacle, but not Wanyoike. He competed in the Paralympic trials and won a gold medal at the 2000 games in Sydney.

“I run mini marathons around the world with my friend Joseph Kibunja, who guides me correctly,” said Wanyoike. “We touch each other with a string. He will inform me a few meters before a turn to slow down and also about any obstacles in front of me.”

For More: Gulf News

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Duncan Larkin

Duncan Larkin

Duncan Larkin is the news editor at Competitor.com and a freelance journalist who’s been covering the sport of running for over five years. He’s run 2:32 in the marathon and won the Himalayan 100-Mile Stage Race in 2007. His first running book, RUN SIMPLE, was released last July.

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