Fresh from representing the country at the Africa Youth Games in Algeria, Kenya’s top junior tennis players Albert Njogu and Faith Nyabera have joined the team to regional games that kicks off in Musanze, Rwanda, today
Njogu of Mbagathi and Nyabera from Olympic Mixed highlight the teams that will be out to defend boys' and girls' doubles titles as well as the overall trophies. Nyabera who had a successful 2017 crowning it with the Safaricom Sports Personality of the Year Award will be out to improve on her second place finish in the girls’ singles contest.
Kenya has dominated the girls’ tennis courts since the inclusion of the sport the regional games in 2014 with former Shadrack Kimalel student Judy Nkatha running the show for three years.
Nyabera took over last year but surrendered the girls’ title to Rwanda’s Shantal Mutuyimana and settling for second spot. She redeemed herself with the doubles title to see Kenya retain the overall top spot.
Nyabera is now determined to win the singles title as well as retain the doubles. “I came close last year but fell short. I have played in several tournaments and recently I gained exposure in Algeria and I am determined to win singles and doubles titles,” Nyabera said.
Together with Nyabera, Rosemary Asumwa, Fatiya Sharif, Claire Muthoni , Verian Akinyi, Tonia Kubai, Hamida Rajab, Rosemary Wambui, Lesley Chepkemboi, Esther Wahome, Oprah Shiyuka and Vanessa Egesa will also be seeking to shine in the girls' contest. Nyaberi will also be looking to join hands with national winner Asumwa in the girls' doubles title chase.
In the boys’ category, Njogu who reached the quarter-finals at the Africa Youth games will be aiming a first singles title a successful defence of the doubles title. Njogu is likely to form a formidable doubles with national champion Omondi.
Kennedy Ngolia, Lesley Emmitundo, Dickson Vundi, Ricky Omondi, Charles Muriithi, Rothway Frank, Arnold Otoli, Ibrahim Mwangi, Noble Mungu and Timothy Ng'wono will also be looking to win the boys trophy. [Elizabeth Mburugu]