• International badminton tourney begins Friday in Nairobi

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Jun 22, 2011-

Kenya’s seasoned double top men Orwaru Abner and Patel Himesh will lead the national team of 15 at the annual International Badminton Championships, which kicks off Friday June 24, at the Moi International Sports Centre Kasarani.

Over 100 players from 20 countries including Russia, Peru, Slovakia and Vietnam are expected to feature in the three-day event that ends on Sunday.

The championship will be used to select as qualifier for the 2012 London Olympic Games according to Kenya Badminton Association Secretary General, Peter Gacheru.

“The event will provide a useful opportunity for our players to earn World ranking points in a bid to qualify for the London Game. This will be a big championship as over 100 players so far having confirmed their participation with 75 of them being foreigners,” said Gacheru.

With some of the best teams like Hungary, India, US, Turkey, Russia, Vietnam, Iran, Croatia, Peru, The Czech Republic and Iceland which have the best world rankings, the Badminton Chairperson, Anna Maina is expecting high level of competition as players seek to qualify for the Games.

The Kenyan team has been in residential training at the Premier Club Nairobi under Coach John Odhiambo for the past two weeks.

Other players who will be flying the Kenyan flag include Anthony Njenga and Kinyua Seaman in men’s double while the singles competition Victor Odera, Petal Jiten, Raphael Mugambi and Alfred Muthomi.

Ladies doubles will see the veterans Naomi Kemunto,Wanjiru Sheila, Teresina Cate and Onyango Joan with Mercy Joseph, Okatete Maureen, Gakii Sheila and Mangeni Jemima lining up in the Women’s single as they hope to thwart opposition from 2010 African Champion (Morocco), Susan Ideh of South Africa who will be looking to get her rightful place in the ranking.

Karen Foo Kune of Maurituis ranked 143 in the world and 4th in this event will be lining up in the women’s single as she fight to make her second appearance at the Olympics.

Last year she lost to Grace Gabriel of Nigeria, currently ranked 214 in the quarter Final.

Other pairs to watch include second seed Nigerian, Jinkam Ifraimu Bulus, the top ranked African singles player with his partner Ebenezer Olaluwa Fagbemi.

Apart from earning world ranking points and qualification for the Olympic games there will be cash prizes worth about Ksh.450,000 ($5,000).



Sportsnewsarena Correspondent

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