Kenyan racing sensation impresses on ice debut


Despite only driving on ice for the first time two days prior to the race during testing, Hirani had made history. He had won a heat, was fastest of all the twelve cars in the semi finals and he had made the final. We will definitely see more from this young talent this year as he will do a full season of junior championship in the FIA World RallyX Championship with top team Olsbergs MSE.

Dinga Blog

17 year-old Tejas Hirani was impressive on his first time out racing on ice. The 2015 Formula Gulf 1000 Champion was in unfamiliar territory, racing on snow for the first time in the RallyX On Ice event in Pitea, Sweden. The event which is running for it’s second year now had some star drivers in the line up. Patrick Sandell the 2006 Junior World Rally Champion featured in the event along side the super quick Eriksson brothers Oliver and Kevin. Kevin is a Swedish RallyX Supercar champion and Oliver is the Global Rally Cross Champion in the lites category. The grid was competitive and the race format featured three heats which would determine who would make the semi final and then final.

In his first heat Hirani didn’t get the very best of starts because he wasn’t accustomed to the countdown lights and finished the heat 4th ahead of…

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Archery: Egypt and Kenya Win Gold at African Championship


The other semi-final was a clash between two Egyptians as a tie-breaker was required to give Reem Mansour the win over her compatriot and second seed Hania Fouda. Anwar defeated Mansour 6-2 to win the championship . Egypt, Kenya and Cote d’Ivoire gained the three quotas by virtue of having athletes reach the semi-finals.

African archers will get one more opportunity to qualify to the Olympics at the final Olympic qualification tournament to be held later this year. Also all African nations will get the opportunity to qualify a team of three athletes for the team event.

Road to the Olympics

Egypt once again showed it is the powerhouse of Africa in archery by winning four out of the six medals in the two individual recurve events at the 2016 African Archery Championship. The three highest ranked nations in each individual event will be given a spot to compete in the Olympics. The African Archery Championship was held in Windhoek, Namibia from January 29th to January 31st 2016.

Egypt was the best nation in the qualification round in the men’s individual recurve with all three of their athletes finishing in the top 5. Egypt’s Hady El-Kholosy won the top seed with a score of 636. In the elimination rounds El-Kholosy swept through his first two opponents, but required to win a tie-breaker against Zimbabwe’s Gavin Sutherland in the quarter-finals. In the semi-finals he had a narrow 6-4 win against his compatriot Mohammed Aly Amin to reach the final.

On the other…

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Volleyball: Egypt Men Go Undefeated In African Qualifier


The qualifiers Kenya Men’s team didn’t even turn up for because…HAKUNA PESA!

Road to the Olympics

Egypt went undefeated on route to winning the 2016 Men’s Volleyball African Qualification Tournament. The seven team tournament was split into two pools where the top two teams advanced to the semi-finals. The winner of the tournament qualified to the Olympics. The Men’s Volleyball African Qualification Tournament was held in Brazzaville, Congo from January 7th to January 12th 2015.

Pool A only contained three teams which contained tournament favourites Egypt and Tunisia whom easily defeated Congo. The match between the two turned into a 3-0 sweep as Egypt topped the group to reach the semi-finals.

Pool B was topped by Algeria as they swept all three of their opponents. Cameroon also advanced to the semi-final with 3-0 wins over Congo DR and Nigeria themselves.

Egypt was able to reach the finals by winning 3-0 over Cameroon. The match between Algeria and Tunisia turned into one of the match of the…

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Athletics: 17 Events Change Their Standards


Stumbled on this blog a few months ago. Very insightful for people already looking ahead to the Rio Olympics in 2016. This particular post is about how the IAAF has lowered the qualification requirements across several track and field events in the Olympics. For Kenya’s Elite middle and distance athletes it does not make much of a difference, however for the field events, it might represent a window for less celebrated Kenyan athletes to make it to the Rio Games. (Note I reckon these are the ‘A’ standards, so their may be other ways too qualify

Road to the Olympics

The IAAF has approved several changes to its minimum qualification standards after a meeting of the IAAF Council held on November 26th 2015. In total 17 events have had their standards amended where it is now easier to qualify to the Olympics. These changes apply to any times or distances achieved during the qualification period which mean up to over 100 new athletes have now achieved the standard.

The biggest changes were in the men’s and women’s marathon where athletes now only need to run 2:19:00 and 2:45:00 respectively. These two events alone have led to the majority of new entrants. It is also good news for nations like Cameroon, Jordan, Luxembourg and Uruguay whom have now qualified their first athletes in athletics. Despite the new changes nations are still allowed to make tougher standards in their own internal qualification.

Changes

New Standards Athletics

References

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A review of Kenya’s World Cricket league Tour of Namibia


Unfortunately iIhave left this blog to wither a bit and first things its to apologize for that. Sorry.

Anyway, this post is to share some thoughts on Kenya’s World Cricket league matches against Namibia, in Namibia. It is not every day that a team marches into such an assignment with so much acrimony any yet comes out the other end so successful. That is what happened here.

Kenya team set out to Namibia on the back of a player protest to remove the legendary Steve Tikolo as coach of the team, Kenya found themselves heading to Namibia with an interim captain (who had been out of the team for over a year) and an interim coach, that was actually the outgoing captain.

They came back having beaten Namibia twice and sitting  joint top of a WCL Division 1 group they are only a part of because of the International Cricket Council Being the International Cricket Council.

The victories featured a swashbuckling 80 (off 58 deliveries) from Rakep Patel in the first game, and an amazing team bowling effort in the second in which Namibia folded to 123 all out.

Rakep Patel cuts loose in his 80 against Namibia (source: espncricinfo)

On a certain level this series vindicates the players (mostly the same bunch who have struggled to match Namibia on the field in the recent past) in their complaints regarding the kind of coaching they had been getting from preceding Cricket Kenya appointed staff.

It should also give the players a stronger hand  if the promised ‘review’ of national team management will go ahead. Hopefully it will allow for a level of dialogue that will finally put some of these cyclical tugs-of-war between board and players to bed.*

 

With Scotland, Netherlands,  Hong Kong,  Papua New Guinea,  and Nepal still to go, there is still a lot of cricket to play. And if they come through that gauntlet, they and one other team will proceed to another World Cup Qualifying tournament, in which they will play the bottom 6 teams in the ICC’s ODI rankings, for the opportunity to feature in the 2019 World Cup in England.

  • NB: I am an unabashed optimist

Southafrica to host first Africa T20 Cup


A little reminder, for those who forgot…

Weekly Home of Cricket

Sources : @Cricinfo

South Africa will host the first Africa T20 Cup as a curtain raiser to the domestic season. Makhaya Ntini, the former South Africa fast bowler, is the face of the 16-team event, which will see 13 South African provincial sides compete with Zimbabwe, Namibia and Kenya and will run for a month from September 4 to October 4.

If CLT20 scrapped, it will give chance to CSA to organize this 16 teams mega event during window of CLT20.

This is group structure for Africa T20 Cup 2015.

Pool A (Sept 4-6, Benoni) Easterns, Northerns, Zimbabwe, Western Province

Pool B (Sept 11-13, Potchefstroom) North West, KZN Inland, Border, Boland

Pool C (Sept 18-20, Kimberley) Griquas, Namibia, KZN, Eastern Province

Pool D (Sept 25-27, Bloemfontein) Free State, SWD, Gauteng, Kenya

Africa Africa T20 Cup 2015

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Our Football – A letter to Kenyans


dimba tactical

“Kenyans pretend to be football fans, after failing to turn out to watch matches at the Cecafa Senior Challenge, it’s a big failure in terms of attendance. It’s a waste of time bringing a competition to people who won’t watch, I will never fight for any competition to come to this country again”

That was Cecafa’s Secretary general, Nicholas Musonye, a Kenyan, back in 2009.

Dear Kenyans

I should start by saying that I think Musonye was harsh, but there is much to learn from his words.

I am a football man, a Kenyan football man. I believe that I appreciate the game for what it is… a game. Not all of you are football fans, but it is still the most popular game by far in this country. Football, believe it or not, deserves to be a source of national pride and, most importantantly, worth our attention.

Many will…

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A Preview of Kenya’s Cricketing Summer tour of UK & Ireland


Kenya’s mens national team is in the UK to play the UAE, in the first leg of the World Cricket League, and then the qualifiers for the preliminary leg of the T20 World Cup, being co-hosted by Ireland and Scotland.

First the World Cricket League. Because of the funky world of International Cricket Council management and its arbitrary decision making, Kenya are back in Division 1 of the World Cricket League, not on merit, but as a side effect of a gerrymandering of the ODI world rankings to include Ireland and Afghanistan.

This was done to soothe the pain of their sevision to cut 4 teams from the next edition of the ODI world cup.

Kenya open with 2 games against UAE, an opponent they drew with 1-1, the last time they met.

The T20 world cup qualifiers on the other hand represent the final hurdle for associates from all over the globe to get on the high table of this fotmat of the game. There will be 6 slots, which will be earned through an excessively contrived series of playoffs I will not dwell on here.

Anyway, having safely dispatched Uganda in a warm up series, Kenya will hope the momentum gathered will help them get past opponents, who have proven a tough nut to crack in recent times.

During the regional T20 qualifiers,and division 2 of the WCL,when facing higher opponents particularly of the calibre, of the Netherland, or Namibia, Kenya struggled to impose their will on proceedings, as they did against the likes of Uganda.

The WC, and T20 matches represent another step up in quality. Thus the ability of Kenya to grind out results against teams, that are significantly more seasoned, will be tested severally.

Kenya have added a little youth, to a largely unchanged squad from the ICC sssignments earlier in the year. 

The bedrock of the batting will likely be Collins Obuya, Rakep Patel, Morris Ouma and Irfan Karim, with Narendra Patel, and the young guns Karan Kaul, and Gurdeep Singh looking to deliver break out performances, wherever they get the chance.

On the bowling front, This blogger expects Elijah Otieno and the Ngoche brothers: Nehemiah, Shem, and James, should carry the bulk of the workload, with Bundi, and Ndandason, providing variety with their different styles of seam bowling.

In addition to that, both Patels can chip in with the occasional spell of finger spin, while Nelson Odhiambo has shown some glimpses of making the kind of all round contributions that made Thomas Odoyo (his uncle) and Maurice Odumbe household names in their pomp.

Anyway, having drifted downwards over the past few years, this tour represents an opportunity to set the rehabilitation of the cricket team into a higher gear. Surely grabbing any one of the 6 slots in the t20 preliminary round, and perhaps winning the one or both games against UAE is not too much to ask?

KENYA squad for T20 qualifiers: Rakep Patel (captain), Emmanuel Bundi (Ringeera),  Narendra Kalyan (Patel), Irfan Karim (wk), Karan Kaul, Lucas Ndandason (Oluoch), James Ngoche, Shem Ngoche, Collins Obuya, Eugene Ochieng, Nehemiah Odhiambo, Nelson Odhiambo, Elijah Otieno, Morris Ouma (wk), Gurdeep Singh

Déjà vu all over again: the FKF, KPL saga


Once again Kenyan football is making a whole bunch of negative headlines for itself. It seemed like a not-so-big-a-deal difference of opinion between the governing Football Kenya Federation, and the Kenya Premier League ltd, through which participating clubs manage the affairs of the Kenya Premier League.

Then it became a massive crisis threatening to grind domestic football to a halt, and putting Kenya’s football teams banned from FIFA activities again.

Sam Nyamweya, FKF’s supremo (Source: Michezoafrika)

On the one hand Football Kenya Federation wants an additional 2 teams added to the Kenyan Premier League. Perhaps it is to help get more fans involved, perhaps it’s a gimmick to shore up support ahead of October’s elections, or perhaps it’s something else.

KPL declined the ‘request’ because they felt it would mess the financial arrangements that they had with the sponsors. In any case such decisions ought to originate from the KPL itself.

FIFA came in to mediate, commissioned a report with recommendations, which it handed over to FKF, what with them being the body FIFA recognized. They were probably hoping that this report would guide a reconciliation that would allow them to go and worry about something else. Word on the street (nothing official has been released) indicate the recommendations side with KPL. That has not happened.

FKF then went ahead and launched the FKF Premier League, complete with a list of 18 teams, of. They then went and started tossing fines and suspensions at anyone working with KPL’s attempts to carry on regardless.

Here are some things that at I haven’t seen explored in the mainstream coverage of this saga

1. Bad Blood? The personalities in the center of this dispute are not colliding for the first time. When Kenya was last banned from FIFA activities, it was because KFF, then led by present FKF chief, Sam Nyamweya was at center of the crisis. Among other things, FIFA, backed by personalities now in KPL, was attempting to change the face of football administration in Kenya through the now dead Football Kenya Limited. Now the shoe appears to be on the other foot, as FKF appears hell bent on steamrolling over the KPL and anyone who sides with them

2. Bad Precedents? Over its tenure, in charge FKF has made a bad habit of intervening and overruling decisions of various bodies, in spite of their mandate to actually make those decisions. From overturning KPL, and IDAC decisions on disciplinary issues, to going over team the heads of national team coaches on squad selections. Could FKF’s decision making be the culmination of the contempt it shows the institutions it is supposed to be nurturing?

3. Bad Campaigning? Did i mention that the board of the FKF is up for re-election this October?. Maybe this is just a cynical mover to emasculate the only organization with the capacity to mobilize and follow through on the removal of Nyamweya’s team.

Whatever the real motivations for this crisis, it  certainly stinks of a  kind of brinkmanship that will take Kenyan football nowhere.

World Cricket League Division II: Where Kenya Stand


The grind of the International Cricket Council’s elaborate and extensive World Cricket League tournament system was back in action over the past week. Kenya was in Namibia, for Division II of the ODI side of the World Cricket League.

Up for grabs were two slots in Division I of the World Cricket League, two slots in the next round of the Intercontinental Cup (which will be a qualifier for a shot at test cricket) and generally getting a little bit closer to qualification in the 2019 ODI World Cup. For the worst two, relegation down to Division III, and generally making the path to World Cup qualification that much more complicated.

There were 6 teams who played each other over that week. Namibia, who were hosting the tournament, and Netherlands promoted, Uganda and Canada were relegated, while Nepal and Kenya will wait for the next round of World Cricket League Division II matches.

On the one hand Kenya finished the tournament as the 3rd best team overall by beating Nepal in the 3rd v. 4th place playoff. On the other hand, Kenya only narrowly escaped relegation by a net run rate differential of approximately 0.2, again as a result of beating Nepal on the last day of round robin matches.

It’s hard to say whether one should be happy that Kenya were resilient enough to dodge the bullet of relegation and even grab 3rd place overall, or sad that they were never really good enough to bounce straight back into Division I of the WCL, having only just been relegated into Division II.

Kenya looked very good dispatching Uganda and Nepal twice. Their bowling unit (led by Nelson Odhiambo’s 15 wickets at 17 apiece) was able to pretty much out smart and outplay their opposing batsmen, while the Kenya batsmen were savvy enough to collectively chase down totals, or score enough runs to win.

Nelson Odhiambo is quietly making himself a pillar for team Kenya (Source: espncricinfo)

On the flip side, in their losses against Canada, Namibia and the Netherlands, the batting either proved too brittle to withstand the pressure from the opponents bowling, or the bowling unit was unable to react appropriately to the aggression of the opposing batsmen.

Case in point being the Netherlands game, where only some late hitting from Nehemiah Odhiambo got Kenya to a total of 212/9, which the Dutch promptly chased down in 31 overs.

Kenya now moves their attention to the process of qualifying for the T20 World Cup. This will involve first making it out of the Africa Qualifier tournament and qualifying for a global qualifier tournament, whose qualifiers will go to a preliminary round before they qualify for the World Cup proper.

This blog is to push discussion and debate about sports and sports people in Kenya

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