In Kenya, a young Masai javelin thrower is heading for international competition. The Kenyan Amateur?
In Kenya, a young Masai javelin thrower is heading for international competition. The Kenyan Amateur Athletic Association (KAAA) have described him as one of their brightest prospects and have invited him to try out for games to be held in Ethiopia in December.
SYNOPSIS: Moses Kipelian lives in the Loita Valley in Kenya about 250 kilometres (155 miles) south-west of Nairobi. He is a Masai, a tribe known for its quiet dignity. He was raised in a traditional way, but he is considered to be superior. At the age of nine he gained warrior status by killing his first lion. He was rewarded with his father's spear which he still cherishes.
His life at home involves protecting cows and goats rom marauding lions. As a young warrior, Moses must live off the land. He eats simply and keeps fit by walking as many as 40 kilometres (25 miles) every day. Spear-throwing comes naturally to a young Masai. It is a part of everyday life.
Moses started throwing the javelin five months ago (April). In Nairobi at a party with some United States students from the International School, the activities included the popular pastime of frisbee throwing. The Americans were impressed by Moses' throwing ability and contacted the KAAA.
He attended his first track events wearing his traditional Masai costume. Moses was laughed at by other athletes because he did not wear the usual track shoes. But he placed second, they stopped laughing, and Moses become dedicated.
He is confident of reaching world class. Most sportsmen are skilfully trained for international competition but Moses has so far progressed with only his natural ability.