• Hosts Kenya falter at International badminton event

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Jun 25, 2011-

The men’s double team of Abner Orwaru and Joseph Matheri were the only Kenyans to make it past the qualifying rounds of the International Badminton Championships, which began on Thursday at the Moi International Sports Centre Kasarani.

Orwaru currently ranked third in the country partnering with Mutheri in the men’s double defeated compatriots Seaman Matavuta and Anthony Mwangi to proceed to the third round where they will face South Africans, Dorian James and Willem Vijoen on Saturday. 

“I don’t just see any possibility of us winning that match, it will be a huge upset for our team to beat the South Africans,” Orwaru admitted.

“We had just two weeks of training and again we were using plastic Shuttles in training while here we use feather ones. So it’s not possible to cope under such conditions as the speed of the two shuttles are not the same.”

Kenya’s top seed, Mercy Joseph was bundled out by Mauritius Kate Foo Kune 21-9,21-14 in the first round of the women’s single.

Another Kenyan Sheila Gaki lost 17-21,9-21 to Seychelles Allisen Camile while Sheila Wanjiru went down 8-21,11-21 to Harrington Kerry-Lee of Uganda.

Joan Anyango also looking to qualify in the ladies singles suffered a 1-21, 6-21 to Turkish Nesliha Yigit.

In the men’s singles, Patrick Kinyua was no match for Italian Giovanni Greco who won their tie  21-9, 21-4 with another Kenyan Jiten Patel fell 12-21, 10-21 to Jam Frohlich of  the Czech republic. Egyptian Mohamoud Sayeed got a bye to the third round after Kenyan Raphael Mugambi failed to turn up for the game. Sayeed will now meet Peruvian Rodrigo Pacheco in the third round tomorrow.

The losses will make it harder for Kenyan players to garner enough points as they look to qualify for the London 2012 Olympics.

Kenyan coach John Odhiambo however believes Kenyans can chase the elusive points by entering most of the remaining qualifying events.

“We still have the chance but this is only possible if players can participate in more tournaments before the All Africa Games and the Olympics. Our biggest undoing was speed and accuracy which most players could not cope with,” Odhiambo.

Over 70 foreign players are taking part in championship, which ends on Sunday.




Elvince Joshua

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