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The Star (Kenya) - - Sports -

Two-time Olympic 800m cham­pion David Rud­isha will be part of the field dur­ing the third edi­tion of the Maasai Olympics sched­uled for December 10 at Sidai Oleng Wildlife Sanc­tu­ary in Ka­ji­ado.

Rud­isha, who set the 1:40.91 world record at the 2012 Lon­don Olympics, is the re­gion’s ath­letic icon and will be the cen­tre of fo­cus dur­ing the com­mu­nity’s cel­e­bra­tion of cul­ture and sport. He suc­cess­fully de­fended the ti­tle at the Rio Olympics and has been an in­spi­ra­tion to many as­pir­ing ath­letes in the re­gion and coun­try­wide.

Four war­rior many­at­tas will be square it out in the event’s fi­nals which will see them com­pete in six dif­fer­ent dis­ci­plines.

“The four war­rior many­at­tas have gone head-to-head against one another in the lead up to the event and com­peted in six sep­a­rate com­pe­ti­tions in­clud­ing ath­letic per­for­mances,” read the state­ment by Big Life Foun­da­tion, the event’s or­gan­is­ers. The foun­da­tion uses the com­mu­ni­ties col­lab­o­ra­tive ap­proach in re­duc­ing the wildlife loss to poaching.

The move is aimed at pro­vid­ing al­ter­na­tive form of com­pe­ti­tion as op­posed to the com­mu­nity’s lion killing as hobby. “The war­riors are able to keep their bat­tle songs alive as well as the com­pe­ti­tion that is an im­por­tant part of the cul­ture,” said the state­ment.

The event was first es­tab­lished in the year 2012, has pro­duced ath­letes of in­ter­na­tional re­pute.

David Lenkai, who won the 5000m ti­tle in the 2014 edi­tion, re­cently com­peted in the New York City Marathon. Mbirikani, the twotime Maasai Olympics win­ning team, start favourites.

“They have con­tin­ued their win­ning form and will no doubt be the hot favourites to take home gold and the top prize of a breed­ing bull,” the state­ment said.

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