Gitonga upbeat as Bungoma hosts third national scrabble circuit

By Washington Onyango: Friday, March 6th 2020 at 16:34 GMT +3 | Sports
Kenya Seed two Nderitu Gitonga (left) and East Africa seed one Allan Oyende in action during the second circuit of the National Scrabble Championship on February 10, 2019, in Kisumu. [Washington Onyango/Standard]

Kenya scrabble seed one Nderitu Gitonga will be seeking to win his third consecutive national gong when more than 80 national scrabble masters converge at Elegant Hotel for the third national circuit in Bungoma County on Saturday.

Fresh from winning the Nairobi and Kitui circuits, Gitonga will be eying for a triple win of the 2020 season but has to face longtime rival and East Africa number one Allan Oyende.

Oyende who missed the Nairobi circuit will be making his second appearance of the new season and is expected to be among the favourites the win gold despite finishing a distanced sixth last month in Kitui.

Speaking to the Standard Sports, organizing secretary Benard Koyyoko said the circuit that will be played over three divisions.

“The 18 matches will be played over two days in the intermediate and premier divisions and 16 games played in the open category where we expect more entries. We expect the circuit to be bigger than the previous ones as we have the county on board.”

Scrabble Kenya chairman Bernard Amuke said he expects a good turn out as the National team gears for the upcoming African games in Uganda.

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“The circuit will involve players from all corners of Kenya and we will also be expecting more youths especially from neighboring colleges and universities,” he said.

"We are hoping for a good turnout as our National team continues preparing for the East and Central African Championship in Uganda over Easter."

Kipruto Tarus in past action. [Photo: Denish Ochieng/ Standard]

Koyyoko added that the circuit will attract players from Nairobi, Siaya, Kisii, Eldoret, Busia, Mombasa, Nakuru, and Kisumu.

Kirinyaga’s own Gitonga and Oyende, a two-time national winner stands out as a favourite in the Kitui circuit.

They will, however, face stiff competition from Kisumu’s, Tony Ochola, George Nyakundi and Muema Muumbi, Onani Magwanga among others.

Top ranked lady Cecilia Ruto, Wenwa Akinyi and Milly Kikechi are also expected to prove their word mastery in the most tough mind game.

Stima Club, Central Bank, Kenya Commercial Bank, Standard Chartered Bank, Kinoo Club, Eldoret Club and Busia Scrabble club have already confirmed participation.

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