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Kenya women basketball team punch ticket to 2022 Brazil Deaflympics

BASKETBALL By Ochieng Oyugi | September 24th 2021
Deaf women basketball team trains at Kasarani indoor Arena. [Courtesy]

Kenya women deaf basketball team has punched the sole ticket to the 2022 Deaflympics Games in Brazil.

They achieved the feat at the ongoing Africa Deaflympics Ball Games qualifiers at Kasarani Stadium.

"Our opponents Uganda, Rwanda and Zanzibar have not shown up. It only means that we have retained our top place in the continental ranking and will represent Africa in Brazil next year," head coach Carol Ouma said.

Ouma added that they will continue to train even after they break camp. She has planned to recruit more players to beef up her squad ahead of the global showpiece.

"My target in Brazil is to win at least two matches. I know teams from Europe are tough but this is achievable with proper training and good facilities," Ouma said.

This will be the second time Kenya will be represented in the Deaflympics Games in the basketball category.

The first outing was in Turkey in 2017 where Kenya finished eighth without winning a match.

"Our performance in Turkey was not good. I had a completely raw team, but I'm glad we learnt from our mistakes and that is what has made us a powerhouse in Africa," Ouma said.

In order to make the current team better after the national selections held at Nyayo Stadium in July, Ouma retained five experienced players.

"The old charges were in the Turkey championships. Their presence has added experience to the squad," said Ouma.

"They understand the game better. They help to explain the sport well to the new players through our crafted basketball sign language."

"They have made it easy for the new ones to blend well and with ease in the team."

The old players are Mercy Mideva, Penina Njeri, Christine Nafula, Mary Apiyo and Maureen Anyango.

Ahead of the Brazil assignment, Ouma is calling for the provision of improved training facilities and be put in an early residential camp before their May departure.

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