Kenyans seek to reclaim handball title: Kenya national champs return to the regional scene after a one year absence

By Elizabeth Mburugu: Monday, August 6th 2018 at 00:16 GMT +3 | Volleyball and Handball
TERM 1 2018 GAMES Kanyawanga's James Odhiambo jumps high aiming Kimilili Boys' goal against Jimmy Wenani of Kimilili Boys during the Kenya Secondary Schools Sports Term 1 National Brookeside games at Kangaru School, Embu County on Saturday April 14, 2018. [Jonah Onyango, Standard]

St. Luke’s Kimilili seek to reclaim handball title

Kenya lost the boys title to E.S Kigoma of Rwanda after last year’s representatives failed to turn up for the job.

National champions St Luke’s Kimilili will lead Kenya’s assault as they seek to salvage the East Africa boys’ handball title.

Undoubtedly the most successful school in the country with nine national titles and two East Africa gongs, Kimilili will be out to reclaim the trophy they won in 2016 when Kenya hosted the Federation of East Africa Secondary Schools Sports Association games in Eldoret.

After recapturing their national title, Kimilili will be hoping to shake off last year’s disappointment and heartbreak.

A disqualification at the Western Region games last year saw them surrender both the national and East Africa crowns without a proper fight. However, they are back and determined to salvage their pride.

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A buoyant Kimilili coach Gerald Juma said he is confident in the quality training his players have had ahead of the games.

“We have trained well and I believe my players are ready for the challenge,” Juma said.

He added that his players will also gain more exposure after taking part in the International Handball Federation Africa Challenge Trophy that begins tomorrow in Kigali.

“Eight of my players are with the national Under-18 team in the continental tournament before traveling to Musanze for the school games. I believe they will gain experience that will add value in our campaign.”

Kimilili captain Chrysostim Mulupi will also lead the under-18 side that also has his teammates Douglas Wekesa, Duncan Kimutai, Edwin Wasilwa, Jimmy Wenani, Elias Simiyu, Lewis Kiptoo and Joseph Simiyu.

Mulupi said they are on a mission to make a statement after their last year's misfortunes.

“We want to prove that we rightfully deserve to play at the regional games. Our aim is to restore our lost glory,” Mulupi said.

They launch their quest in Group B which also has defending champions and home boys E.S Kigoma, last year’s finalists Kibuli Secondary School from Uganda, College Gisenyi from Uganda and Tanzania’s Makongo.

Kenya’s second representatives in the competition, Kanyawanga, are in Group A together with Adegi and St Alloys from Rwanda and Sseta Green from Uganda.

Kanyawanga will be seeking to improve on last year’s dismal performance that saw them finish last in the 10-team contest.

They will also be banking on the services of Durel Okinyi Alphonse Wanzala and Hope Samson, who were crucial in their second-place finish at the nationals.

The three players are also in the Under-18 team in Rwanda.

The Kenyan boys were overshadowed in last year’s championships held in Uganda with 2017 national winners St Ignatius Mukumu finishing seventh.

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