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Kenya prepares for WRC Safari Rally despite postponement

Several rounds of the World Rally Championship were cancelled this year due to a global lockdown following the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Hyundai driver Dani Sordo during WRC Rally Turley race in Mugla, Turkey, Sept. 15, 2019. Photo/Courtesy/Reuters

Kenyan organizers have stepped up preparations for the return of the historic Safari Rally, despite the postponement of the event’s return to the World Rally Championship (WRC) to 2021.

The rally was set to make its comeback on the WRC roster for the first time since 2002 but was delayed to 2021 due to the global COVID-19 pandemic.

WRC Safari Rally chief executive officer Phineas Kimathi said in a statement that his secretariat is still working with the initial dates of July 16 to 19 in preparing for the event.

On July 4, the former rally driver led a WRC Safari Rally management team on update visits of the Service Park in Naivasha that will be critical in hosting the event.

“We are following the initial schedule that we had set out for this year’s Safari Rally, assuming everything needed to be ready for July 15,” Kimathi said on Thursday.

“We had targeted to finish the Service Park by last week, but because of the COVID-19 situation work slowed down a bit, but even then, the contractor has done 75 per cent of the work,” he added.

Kimathi noted the government has played a key role in making sure preparations for the WRC Safari Rally were in top gear.

Several rounds of the World Rally Championship were cancelled this year due to a global lockdown following the COVID-19 pandemic.

Just three rounds had been held in Monte Carlo, Sweden and Mexico before the virus struck, and a reworked 2020 calendar was announced recently with Rally Estonia making its debut after running as a WRC promotional event in 2019.

Fresh dates for the 2021 WRC Safari Rally will be communicated soon.

Story by Xinhua

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Kenya sevens coach Simiyu sacked, Britain’s McGrath takes over

Recently, the team was slammed when it lost to neighbors Uganda in the Africa sevens championship semifinals, but recovered to finish third and qualify for the Rugby Sevens World Cup set for South Africa in September.

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Kenya’s rugby sevens head coach and former international Innocent Simiyu was sacked on Wednesday and replaced by Damian McGrath.

“The Kenya Rugby Union (KRU) has opted to part ways with Simiyu, head coach of the Kenyan men’s national sevens team, Shujaa. Also leaving the Shujaa set up are technical bench members Michael Shamiah and Anthony Muchiri,” the KRU said in a statement released here on Wednesday.

The rugby governing body said McGrath will take charge for the next two years leading up to the 2024 Summer Olympic Games in Paris.

McGrath boasts close to 30 years of sevens coaching experience, having most recently led Germany to victory at the World Rugby Challenger Series in Chile in 2020.

He previously coached Canada between 2016 and 2019, leading the Canadians to the Main Cup title at the 2017 Singapore Sevens.

Prior to the Canadian job, the Englishman was in charge of the Samoa squad during the 2015-16 season, leading them to the Main Cup title at the 2016 Paris Sevens.

McGrath also coached England at the 2002 and 2014 Commonwealth Games in Manchester and Glasgow, as well as the 2005 Rugby Sevens World Cup in Hong Kong.

“Kevin Wambua, who has been a part of the Shujaa set up, will assist Damian in ensuring a seamless transition while Geoffrey Kimani takes up the Strength and Conditioning coaching role,” the KRU added.

Kimani, who is part of the National Olympic Committee-Kenya Elite Performance set up, is no stranger to the Shujaa set up, and returns for a fourth stint, having previously served in the S&C role between 2007 and 2011, 2015-16 and 2017-18.

Simiyu returned to the helm in September 2020, replacing New Zealand’s Paul Feeney who left the role by mutual consent, as the KRU announced at the time.

The retired international had been sacked from the same position two years earlier after admitting responsibility for a player’s protest at the 2018 Paris Sevens.

Kenya have struggled to replicate the form that made them a household name on the international circuit, reaching a peak when they won the 2016 Singapore Sevens.

Recently, the team was slammed when it lost to neighbors Uganda in the Africa sevens championship semifinals, but recovered to finish third and qualify for the Rugby Sevens World Cup set for South Africa in September.

Story by Xinhua

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Kenya women’s wheelchair basketball team qualifies for Commonwealth Games

The team travelled for qualifications in November 2021, where they beat the Democratic Republic of Congo, Gambia, and Tanzania before losing to South Africa.

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Kenya women’s wheelchair basketball three-by-three team will feature in their first-ever Commonwealth Games after qualifying for the Birmingham 2022 edition, the country’s Olympics Committee announced on Wednesday.

“For the first time in history, we shall have the wheelchair basketball team participate in a major competition. We received the news on Tuesday, and we are still processing it with all the excitement. We cannot wait to go and represent our nation as we aim for a podium finish with our four athletes,” team manager Alfred Simiyu said in a statement issued in the Kenyan capital, Nairobi.

The women’s team has been training together with their male counterparts in Nairobi ahead of the games that start in Birmingham, United Kingdom on July 27.

The team travelled for qualifications in November 2021, where they beat the Democratic Republic of Congo, Gambia, and Tanzania before losing to South Africa.

Wheelchair basketball 3×3 will be making its debut in the Commonwealth Games, with the events scheduled to run concurrently with the Basketball 3×3.

Story by Xinhua

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Humphrey Kuria is the overall winner of the 2022 Standard County Golf Classic series

This is the second time Kuria ,67, is winning the series.

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Golf.PHOTO/Courtesy.
Humphrey Kuria is the overall winner of the 2022 Standard County Golf Classic series held at the Nakuru Golf Club on Saturday 5, February 2022.
This is the second time Kuria ,67, is winning the series.
Besides, he has also taken part in the Nakuru legs, since the inception of the tournament that attracts over 100 golfers.
When interviewed by journalists after the event, Kuria was categorical that,  “I prepared well ahead of the event. I really feel proud for being a double winner of the series.”
According to him, the secret behind his victory is consistency.
A member of Njoro Golf Club in Nakuru and Vet Lab Sports Club in Nairobi, Kuria lauded the organizers and sponsors for a well-planned event.
The resilient golfer first embraced the game in 1995 when he was elected Secretary General of Njoro Golf Club before he started competing in major tournaments in 2001.
Speaking during the awarding ceremony, Standard Group CEO Orlando Lyomu challenged the golfers to take care of their environment.
The event was also graced by Mediheal Group of Hospitals Vice President International Buisness Mr. Gokul Prem Kumar and Vice President Operations at Mediheal Group of Hospitals Mr.Santosh Devaraj.
It should be noted that Mediheal Group of Hospitals-A Platinum Healthcare Partner was the main partner among others that made the event successful.

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