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Kenya dumped out of World Cup qualifiers

By Barry Silah
Monday, February 17th, 2020
Kenya’s Peter Munuve in action during the Wheelchair World Cup qualifiers at Nairobi Club at the weekend. Photo/PD/DAVID NDOLO

Kenya’s wheelchair teams lost the chance of representing the country in the forthcoming World Cup to be held in Portugal after losing their ties at Nairobi Club yesterday.

After having a steady run in the opening ties against Cameroon and Ghana last week, Team Kenya met their waterloo in the finals against South Africa and Morocco who now head to the global showdown for men’s and women’s teams respectively. 

The biggest prospect for the country was the women’s side who had a must-win match against Morocco but lost the singles ties 2-0, finishing second, while the men lost 3-0 to South Africa, finishing in the fifth place playoff.

The women’s pair of Jane Ndenga and Asiya Sururu could not match the potency of Moroccan duo Najwa Awanae and Samira Benichi respectively.

Ndenga in particular was woeful after  going down 6-0,6-1 against Awanae who forced the Kenyan prospect to make numerous mistakes especially on the net.

Sururu meanwhile, battled well but eventually lost  in straight sets of 6-1, 6-4 against the enterprising Benichi on centre court.

The men, represented by Collins Omondi and Peter Munuve, spanked Ghana 2-0 in their final rubber but overall lost out due to points accrued especially after their mishaps to tournament favourites South Africa and Morocco.

In the first match for the men’s tie, Munuve saw off Razak Abdul Nuhu 6-1, 6-1 while Omondi beat Daniel Laryea 6-0, 6-2.

Morocco and South Africa have had a marvellous championship with the former eventually getting a stronger point ratio over the latter in the men’s side. In the women’s category, Morocco were 2-1 winners over Kenya and also more advantaged with regards to total points accrued.

“We could have wished as hosts to go through. However, it was not to be. But it was great experience amongst Africa’s greatest,” said Kenya coach Lawrence Karanja.