A row is brewing over the real winner in the wheelchair category of the Standard Chartered Nairobi marathon. Anthony Mundia, a standard eight pupil at Joytown Primary School for kids with Physical disabilities in Thika, allegedly won the race but his win was snatched because he didn’t use a wheelchair from some association.
According to various witnesses, Anthony was even handed the winner’s tag at the finish line but that changed when leaders of some association went and snatched his tag without explaining much to him. Nowhere in the race brochures and pamphlets having all the rules did the race organisers say that wheelchairs should only be bought or acquired from the association.
Anthony registered and trained for more than two months to participate in the race. Anthony finished the race after leading all the way from the 300 metres mark. Celebrations of his family and friends were cut short by the robbery of his win.
According to his trainers, no one told them that there were special wheelchairs to be used in the race. If the requirement for registration was to use products from that association then the information should have been communicated on registration and that the wheelchair should have been made available (possibly even for free on registration as most participants are so poor they can’t afford expensive wheelchairs).
Anthony lined up at the start of the race, race officials inspected his registration and gave him his participation number, no one told him that his chair was the “wrong one”.
Anthony whose race number is 2424 was shown live on TV crossing the line after the gentleman who won the 21K race. You will see that he was given a tag by one of the stewards on finishing the race.