'Injured' Ayimba confident ahead of qualifiers

By emmanuel sabuni
Nov 05, 2021
  • Benjamin Ayimba is nursing a tendon injury on his right foot and is undergoing treatment with team physiotherapists. (Photo by Emmanuel Sabuni)

Injured national 7s team head coach Benjamin Ayimba is optimistic that Kenya will qualify to play at the 2016 Olympics next year in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

The team, which is currently camping at Nandi Bears golf club in Nandi County, is preparing for the Africa rugby 7s qualifier next week in South Africa with Ayimba expressing total confidence that the ‘boys’ will be in a better position ahead of the qualifiers.

“We are capable of playing at the Olympics games in Rio de Janeiro next year. Nobody can beat us at the qualifiers. Kenya is better placed to do well,” said Ayimba.

The coach said that the house was full with 18 players and he expects them to do well in South Africa. “When you have a full team, without recording any injuries then we are ready to win. As we speak, all players have reported into the camp and I have no worries at all,” confirmed Ayimba after Wednesday’s evening training under heavy rain currently pouring in north rift region.

The former national team player is nursing a tendon injury he received when going to tackle Alvin Otieno. The coach suffered an Achilles tendon injury on his right foot and is undergoing treatment by team physiotherapists.

“I overstretched my tendon as I was going to tackle. People should not be worried about me as I have received good medication from the physiotherapists,” confirmed Ayimba insisting that he is not a coach who sits on the sides but plays too.

Good weather

Ayimba was on record that they had to train in Nandi Bears since it is an all round weather friendly region. It has the best field in the whole republic compared to those in Nairobi.

“Here (Nandi) you can train any time. In the morning, the weather is warm, afternoon it is hot and in the evening it becomes very rainy and cold so players can adapt to any weather changes depending on the occasion.

Like today (Wednesday) we had a successful training because we have had all weather changes and we had to train in rain to adapt rainy playing,” cleared the air to why he chose the area as the training centre.

He added that grass at the club is so good and cannot harm a player. “The grass is soft and slippery compared to that in Nairobi where in some areas it is dry and may pierce players.”

Following the dismal performance by the national team last season World Rugby Sevens World Series, Ayimba was confident that this time the nation will not end at position 13. “With laughs: “We will not finish in position 13. That one am pretty sure it won't happen under my reign in Kenya.”