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ELECTION 2022

Angela Okutoyi success evidence of Kenya's huge potential

EDITORIAL
By Editorial | Jan 27th 2022 | 2 min read

Kenyan tennis star Angela Okutoyi [Australian Open]

Looking at the exploits of Kenyan tennis star Angela Okutoyi at this year’s Australian Junior Open, it’s evident that Kenya has invaluable tennis talent that only needs to be nurtured.

Just a regular young sportswoman from Kenya, Okutoyi did not only make her debut at a major grand slam event but also reached new heights in the sport.

Ranked 60th in the latest International Tennis Federation (ITF) Junior rankings announced on January 3, which is her new career-high, Okutoyi ended her grand slam debut with a third round finish, narrowly missing out on the quarterfinals.

Okutoyi went down to Serbian Lola Radivojevic after losing straight sets of 6-2, 6-3 during the third round match played at Melbourne Park Arena yesterday.

Okutoyi has risen to be a star at a young age, conquering both Kenya and Africa in ITF tournaments. In 2018, she became the youngest player to win the Kenya Open then aged 14 after upsetting experienced three-time former champion Shufaa Changawa 6-1, 7-6 at Nairobi Club.

Her rise to stardom confirms one thing; that Kenya has huge unexploited sports potential. 

Last year, Ferdinand Omanyala proved to the world that besides its prowess in the long distance races, Kenya can also excel in the sprints when he reached the 100m semi-finals at the Olympic Games. He went on to break his Olympic record in a matter of weeks and is now ranked the ninth fastest man in the world. 

Before him was javelin sensation Julius Yego who won silver in the 2016 Olympics after learning the game via YouTube video, thus earning himself the nickname "Mr YouTube".

The exploits of these three great sportspeople goes to show that we can dominate in many other sports besides long distance races. But that can only happen if the government sets aside resources  to identify and develop nascent talent.

 

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