Pomp and colour as Commonwealth Games begin in UK

Team, Kenya atheletes match past the spactators during the Opening Ceremony of the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games at Alexander Stadium on July 28, 2022 on the Birmingham, England ( Kelly Ayodi, Standard)

Fireworks, jubilations and historic presentations of art, music and craft marked the 2022 Commonwealth Games opening ceremony in Birmingham on Thursday night in England.

More than 5,000 athletes are primed for action in the English city of Birmingham from Friday at a Commonwealth Games lacking several track and field stars but still boasting of elite performers.

Competitors from 72 nations and territories -- many of which are former British colonies -- will be vying for medals in 19 sports over a packed 11 days.

The opening ceremony at the revamped Alexander Stadium paid tribute to the industrial heritage of the city and celebrated the diversity of its modern make-up.

 

Sprinter Ferdinand Omanyala and Hellen Wawira carry the flag of team Kenya during the Opening Ceremony of the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games at Alexander Stadium on July 28, 2022 on the Birmingham, England ( Kelly Ayodi, Standard)

Prince Charles arrived with his wife Camilla in his personal Aston Martin during a segment highlighting Birmingham's rich history of motor manufacturing.

Prince Charles declared the Games open as British pop giants Duran Duran got the party started to a backdrop of fireworks across the city.

Kenya is represented by 127 athletes in athletics, boxing, squash, hockey, badminton, 3x3 basketball, cycling, swimming, table tennis, triathlon, rugby, lawn bowls and para-cycling.

Africa fastest man and Kenyan 100m record holder Ferdinand Omanyala led the nations parade carrying the Kenyan flag.

Meanwhile, Kenya women’s hockey team will kick off their Commonwealth Games kick off match against New Zealand today (Friday) from 11am East African Time in Birmingham.

 

Team Kenya CDM John Ogola wheels out Para athlete Hellen Wawira during the Opening Ceremony of the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games at Alexander Stadium on July 28, 2022 on the Birmingham, England ( Kelly Ayodi, Standard)

Kenya are in Group B alongside defending champions New Zealand, 2014 winners Australia, Scotland and South Africa. Group A has India, Canada, Wales, Ghana and England.

They will then take on Australia on Saturday from 4pm local time.

Kenya will then battle Scotland on August 1 at 11am (EAT) before they complete their group matches with a clash against African giants South Africa on August 2 (4pm).

National men’s and women’s 3x3 Basketball teams will also kick off their debuts with matches against Cnada and Sri Lanka respectively as Shujaa face Uganda and Jamaica in rugby sevens.

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