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.