Last updated 8 months ago | By Clement Wekulo
The Kenya men’s rugby Sevens team, Shujaa qualified for the 2020 Olympic Games after reclaiming the Africa Sevens title with a 31-0 win over Uganda in Johannesburg, South Africa on Saturday.
Shujaa, coached by New Zealander Paul Feeney, became the second Kenyan team to book a slot at the Summer Games following in the footsteps of their women counterparts, the Lionesses, who punched the ticket to the quadrennial event last month.
Kenya captain Andrew Amonde opened the scoring as he crossed the whitewash for a try that was converted by Daniel Taabu.
Taabu then converted his own try to give Shujaa a 14-0 advantage at half-time.
Amonde turned provider, setting up Jeffrey Oluoch for Shujaa's third converted try before Oscar Dennis joined the scorer's list with a quick brace of tries.
It was an inspiring performance from Kenya, whose win over the Ugandans ensured they will return to the Olympics having made their debut at the 2016 edition in Brazil.
The triumph at the Bosman stadium saw Feeney’s charges clinch the continental title for the first time in four years.
Having topped pool B with three wins in three, including a 24-7 victory over neighbours Uganda on Saturday, Shujaa proceeded to the semi-finals where they dismissed Madagascar 40-14 to set up a repeat against Uganda in the title decider.
Against Madagascar, Kenya were given an early scare as the Islanders took a 7-0 lead with a converted try before Kenya responded through Nelson Oyoo.
Madagascar would retake the lead before Alvin Otieno ensured the sides went to half-time tied 14-14. Second half tries by Vincent Onyala, Bush Mwale, William Ambaka and Alvin Otieno sealed Kenya's win.
Uganda, together with Zimbabwe who finished third, will have a second chance to reach the Olympics when they participate in a the Repechage tournament against best losers from other regions.
The pair will also compete at next year's World Sevens Series qualifier in Hong Kong where they will try to become core teams.
Shujaa are the ninth side to qualify for the men’s rugby Sevens Olympics as they join hosts Japan together with the quartet of South Africa, Fiji, USA and New Zealand who made it courtesy of a top four finish in the 2018-19 World Sevens Series.
Great Britain, Argentina and Canada will also be in Tokyo having won their respective regional qualifiers.
The remaining three slots will be filled by teams from Asia and Oceania regions as well as the the Repechage tournament slated for June next year.