Mahabila takes Kenya's medal tally to three in Tunisia

Kenya's wrestler Mathayo Mahabila (left) and Tunisia's Khaireddine Ben Tlili in action during their match at the Africa Beach Games in Hammamet, Tunisia. [NOC-K Media]

Wrestler Mathayo Mahabila has taken Kenya's tally of medals at the Africa Beach Games in Hammamet, Tunisia to three after clinching bronze in the men's 80kg category.

Mahabila beat Tunisia's Khaireddine Ben Tlili 4-2 to win the bronze after dropping to the third and fourth play-off following defeat to Senegal's Ngor Niakhe in the semis.

"I feel delighted because last month at the qualifiers I finished in fourth place and now I have improved that to a bronze. I want to dedicate this to my lovely wife who has been really supportive to my career," said Mahabila.

He now says the victory has given him motivation as he engages a new gear towards qualifying for next year's Olympic Games in Paris.

"The Olympics are a bit different because we play on carpet and here we do it on sand. But, these are almost same conditions we train in and it has given me lots of motivation to qualify for Paris," added the 25-year old, who is a warder attached to the Prisons Training College in Ruiru.

Mahabila had earlier beaten the Tunisian in the preliminary rounds, and he knew it was going to be tough meeting again.

He hit the first point, but the Tunisian responded after landing him out of the sector. It was a tough duel, and the Tunisian landed the next point by putting Mahabila on his knee. But the Kenyan fought hard and levelled after dragging the Tunisian beyond the sector.

He then scored the game winning point next, when he pushed his opponent out of the sector again.

Tlili asked for a Video Review, which he lost after a lengthy check, and the Kenyan had his bronze.

Meanwhile, the 3x3 basketball team has qualified for the semi-final after edging out Uganda 11-9 in a nail-biting quarter final. The girls are now just one win away from a medal prospect. They take on home girls Tunisia in Friday morning's semi.

Against Uganda, the Kenyan girls almost paid for a series of unfortunate shots, but they held on for the victory. Mary Lisa Omondi starred once again for the Kenyan girls with five points.

"We are delighted to make the semi and we will do our best to get into medal position," Lisa said after the match.

While Lisa had the biggest contribution of the game in terms of points, it was her Zetech University teammate Medina Okot who delivered the match winning points.

With scores tied at 9-9 and 4.3secs to play, Okot was fouled under the rim and handed two free throws, and she made both.[Additional reporting by NOCK-Media]

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