Paris Olympics 2024: Shujaa, Lionesses hit camp in Miramas

Kenya Sevens players during the World Rugby Challenger Series. [World Rugby]

National men’s and women’s rugby teams, Shujaa and Lionesses, officially checked into their pre-Olympics camp in the city of Miramas, France on Thursday.

The two teams had the honour of meeting the Mayor of Miramas, Frédéric Vigouroux, who visited the camp to show his support and solidarity with the Kenyan teams.

His visit is a testament to the strong cultural and sporting ties between Kenya and France, and it highlights the city's commitment to supporting international sports.

Shujaa, after their impressive qualification for the Paris 2024 Olympic Games against former African champions South Africa, have been diligently concentrating on reclaiming their core status in the HSBC World Rugby Series. This series not only acts as a crucial stepping stone for their Olympics preparation now just 62 days away but also serves as a platform to fine-tune their skills and strategies.

Their recent performance in Munich, Germany, where they secured a commendable fifth place finish, showcases their determination and readiness as they strive to solidify their position among the elite teams in the rugby world.

The Kenya Lionesses, determined and hungry for their third consecutive appearance on the world’s biggest stage, are eyeing a ticket to the Paris 2024 Olympic Games.

After narrowly missing the sole African ticket to South Africa's Lady Boks, the Lionesses have one last chance to secure their spot in Paris. The team will train in Miramas for two weeks before coming back to Nairobi for a week and flying back to Miramas to train for one more week before heading to Monaco on 21-23 June 2024. This is a venue that hosted final qualification events before the Rio 2016 and Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.

Lionesses are in Group A in the qualifiers alongside Argentina, Papua New Guinea, and Samoa, while in the playoffs Shujaa are in Group B together with hosts Spain, Samoa, and Chile. The men's showdown will be held in Madrid.

During their training period in Miramas, both teams will engage in test matches with various French rugby teams. These matches are designed to maintain their competitive momentum and acclimatised conditions like those of the upcoming competitions.

"We are delighted to be in camp here in Miramas, as opposed to going back home and then returning

later for the challenger series," said co-captain Tony Omondi.

"This setup allows us to stay focused and train in conditions akin to those we will face in the competitions."

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