Champions Kwanthanze yesterday launched their title defence on a high as the 2019 East Africa secondary school games entered day three, in Arusha, Tanzania.
The four-time East Africa champions began what would be good day in office for some Kenyan teams with a straight set win over familiar foes St Alloys from Rwanda in their Group A opener.
Kwanthanze, seeking to defend their title for a second year in a row, had a rather easy time dismissing the 2017 finalists 25-14, 25-19 and 25-17.
This was the third time in succession the Kenyans were defeating the Rwandese after denying them the 2017 title in Gulu, Uganda and last year at their own Musanze backyard.
Kwanthanze coach Justin Kigwari was rather surprised by his opponents’ failure to turn up for the job as the two sides had engaged in fierce battles in the past.
“This is a team we have had to work harder to beat in the past and I am shocked their game is on the decline. I anticipated a close game but they gave us no challenge,” Kigwari said.
Kwanthanze take on home girls Mkalapa High School in their second match and a win will put them in the last four.
In boys’ volleyball, Kenya’s Lelmokwo Secondary School lost for the second successive day as they went down 3-1 (20-25, 25-15, 15-25 and 25-21) to Don Bosco Gatenga from Rwanda.
In boys’ football, newcomers Dagoretti High battled to a 1-1 draw against Tanzania’s Ruwuiko in their opening Group C match.
Paul Odhiambo had given Dagoretti an early goal eight minutes into the match, but the Kenyans failed to hang on to their lead allowing Neva Kaboma to level matters in the 74th minute.
In the girls’ football title chase, Kenya national champions Nyakach edged compatriots Archbishop Njenga 2-1 while Itigo played to a 1-1 with Tanzania’s Alliance High.
Former boys and girls handball champions St Luke’s Kimilili and Moi Kamusinga were victorious in their respective matches at the TGT grounds.
Kimilili bounced back from their opening 29-28 defeat to champions ES Kigoma of Rwanda on Saturday, to defeat Tanzania’s Vwawa High School 33-12 yesterday.
Joseph Wafula starred for the Kenyan champions with 10 goals. Kamusinga on their part, beat ES Kiziguro of Rwanda 21-15 in their opener.