Kenya eye bountiful medal harvest at the African Games

By alex wafula
May 07, 2015
  • Runners compete in the women's 5000m at the All Africa Games in Maputo in 2011.(Photo:SNA File)

Mozambique provided Kenya with the second best ever medal haul in the All Africa Games after the 1987 hosted in Nairobi. Kenya scooped 49 medals and finished sixth overall behind South Africa, Egypt, Nigeria, Tunisia and Algeria.

The country is looking to better the medal haul. Kenya will enter competitors in 17, down from 19 in Maputo of the 23 disciplines on the card in this year’s games scheduled to run between September 4-19, 2015 in Congo Brazzaville.

An estimated budget of Ksh.500 million has been drawn to facilitate the participation of about 400 athletes.

“We hope to win more medals this year and our athletes will also be motivated by the fact that they might be using the Africa Games as preparations for the Rio Olympics which will be held next year. We have ensured that we select the best teams and it is important for us as a council to gauge the level of preparedness of the teams and ensure that the teams are selected in a fair and open manner,” said the National Sports Council treasurer Charles Nyaberi who is also the delegations Executive officer.

The country will be represented in Athletics (men & women) , Badminton (men & women), Boxing (men), Cycling (men & women) , Handball (men & women), Judo (men & women), Karate (men & women), Lawn Tennis (men & women), Rugby Sevens (men), Swimming (men & women), Table Tennis (men & women), Taekwondo (men & women), Volleyball (women), Beach Volleyball (men & women) , Weightlifting (men & women) Wrestling (men & women) and Paralympic Sports (men & women).

Beach Volleyball seek qualification this weekend

The Ministry of Sports, Culture and the Arts has constituted a Games Management Committee led by Gordon Oluoch, the Commissioner of Sports. Nyaberi is hopeful of above par performance even in track and field where Athletics Kenya will field a depleted field as it sends its strongest athletes to the World Championships (August 22-30).

“In 2011 the same happened but AK managed to send two teams to each event and we still had a good performance. I think in athletics we have one of the biggest depths and we can have the prestige of sending two teams to two different events. I don’t think it will be much of a problem,” Nyaberi added.

In Maputo, eight of Kenya’s 13 gold medals came from the track and further five silver and eight bronze adding to the haul. Among the teams that have already booked tickets for Brazaville include the men and women handball, women volleyball, men beach volleyball as well as Rugby Sevens.

Kenya’s women beach volleyball team is also expected to add to the list when they take part in the qualifiers this weekend in Mombasa. According to Nyaberi, the team is expected to assemble for a three week residential training camp beginning August 10.