Once unpopular sports gaining traction in Kenya

Thursday, October 6th, 2022 17:37 | By
Kenyan tennis sensation Angella Okutuyi during a past championship. She made a name for herself in the sport which is unpopular in the country. PD/ David Ndolo

For years, Kenyan distance runners have competed and won multiple world titles while rendering emerging rivalry helpless before them.

 It is a long practice of vanquishing competitions and remaining on top of the rankings.

Beyond the tracks, the country has little to show in other sports disciplines. Whereas Kenyans have been contented with this reality, a crop of sporters has renewed Kenya’s hope by triumphing in non-traditional sports.

 “For the athletes who have excelled in other sports, it’s their effort that has been their buzz word. Look at Angella Okutoyi or Ferdinand Omanyala. They have been a cut above the rest due to hard work,” said National Olympic Committee of Kenya Secretary-General Francis Mutuku.

 Mutuku while advising sportsmen venturing in the unpopular sporting events added: “If you are lucky, the respective federations will support you just like in the case of Okutoyi who receives immense support from Tennis Kenya.”

 Okutoyi is currently ranked 49 in the International Tennis Federation (ITF) junior rankings.

She rose to stardom after she won the Africa Junior Championships –under 18 in 2021.

Before then, Okutoyi was largely unknown and local tennis hardly made waves to merit much attention.

The teenager stirred more excitement when she became the first Kenyan to make it to the third round of a junior grand slam event.

She did this during the Australian Open where she won three-set matches before bowing to Serbian player, Lola Radivojevic. The last time a Kenyan played at the Australian Open was some sixteen years ago.

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