A gloriously good year for women sports

By sportsnewsarena correspondent
Dec 30, 2021
  • Malkia Strikers, the women's national volleyball team was promoted to group two of the world grand prix and a second team won the All Africa Games.

  • Telkom Orange retained the Africa title by beating Ghana Police in the final in Lusaka, Zambia. At home, they are unbeaten in the league.

The Kenya sevens Olympic qualification alongside the Kenya Lionesses was the icing on the cake for Kenyan sport, a year dictated by the track and field athletes.

It was also a good year for women’s sports in Kenya. From the golden races of Vivian Cheruiyot, Hyvin Kiyeng, Agnes Tirop in China to the Kenyan teams domination in Australia, Congo, Zambia and the willpower of the Harambee Starlets, 2015, was a news making year for Kenyan female athletes.

Malkia Strikers All Africa Games triumph and the promotion of the national team to group two of the world grand prix after their show stopping performance in Australia were the highlights in Volleyball before the glorious Telkom women’s hockey team topped it off by retaining the Africa Club championships.

Harambee Starlets overcame a myriad of challenges from difficult training conditions, visa hitches, unpaid allowances and were just a step away from Olympic qualification when they lost to South Africa in their third round. But the Kenya Lioness stepped in to fill in Starlets absence in Rio.

Malkia Strikers shine in Australia and Congo

Malkia Strikers, the Kenya women's volleyball team were promoted to group two of the World Grand Prix after a 3-1 win over Peru in Canberra, Australia. Kenya won the growth three, the highest achievement by the national team in an international competition.

They beat Australia 3-1 in the semifinal while Peru overcame Colombia 3-0 in the other semi-final. Kenya had advanced to the second round of the World Grand Prix for the first time by rallying from behind twice to beat hosts Algeria 3-2. They won all their three matches in the second leg of the first round by beating Mexico and Australia 3-0.

The Kenya women’s team reclaimed the All Africa games gold with a thrilling 3-1 victory over Cameroon in the finals in Brazzaville, Congo. Cameroon led 25-15 in the first set, the Kenyans won the second set 25-14, and extended their lead with a 25-15 victory in the following set.

Kenya sealed victory after a 25-19 victory in the third set that earned the gold medal the country last won in Johannesburg in 1999 with Egypt clinching the bronze medal after a close 3-2 sets victory over Rwanda.

Before the Grand Prix, Kenya retained the Africa Cup of Nation title by beating Algeria 3-0 in Nairobi.

Locally, Kenya Pipeline defended the women's national title by beating Kenya Prisons 3-1 and Kenya Police General Service Unit (GSU) reclaimed the men's title.

Telkom retain Africa club cup

Telkom Orange provided the highlight in hockey by beating Ghana Police 4-3 to retain the Africa Club championship in Lusaka, Zambia.

The national team failed to qualify for the Olympics and bowed out in the second round of World League. Kabras Sugar Warriors, the men's representatives failed to travel to Zambia and the national men's team won bronze at the Olympics qualifier in South Africa.

Locally, Telkom Orange remain unbeaten in the women's national league while Butali Sugar Warriors and Kenya Police have set the pace in the men's Premier League. New entrants Chase Sailors are equally formidable in the men's National League.

In Rugby, despite the board room wrangles, it was still a good performance on the pitch where KCB won the Kenya Cup, Impala Floodlit and Enterprise Cups. They surrendered the Kenya Rugby Union Sevens title to Nakuru RFC.

The bankers dethroned Nakuru as the Kenya Cup champions by beating surprise finalists Kabras Sugar RFC 27-3 in March and in April beat Homeboyz 28-0 in the Enterprise Cup final. KCB then lifted their fifth Impala Floodlit trophy by beating hosts Impala 24-14 in the final.

The Kenya 15's team won two high-profile tests in Nairobi beating 24th-ranked Portugal 41-15 in May and 20th-ranked Spain 37-26 in July at the RFUEA ground. The wins saw Kenya climb to an all time high of 27th in the World Rugby Rankings.

The Sevens team then edged out Zimbabwe to qualify for the Olympics and South Africa's withdrawal paved way for the women's team to book a ticket to Rio 2016.

Special Olympics

Kenya won 42 medals at the 2015 Special Olympics World Games in Los Angeles, USA. They had 22 gold, two silver and 18 bronze which was the best ever medal haul. Some of the stand out performers were Onesmus Mutinda who won the half marathon and 10,000m; Alex Komen winner in the men's 3,000 and 5,000m and Susan Gatwiri who won old in the women's 3,000 and 5,000m.