Ruto assures Kenya Sevens support after Olympic qualification
President William Ruto has pledged his full support to the Kenya Sevens rugby team as they prepare for the Paris Olympics.
The team, commonly known as Shujaa, secured a stunning victory over tournament favourites South Africa with a score of 17-12, earning them a spot in the 2024 Olympics as African Champions for the third consecutive time.
Ruto to Kenya Sevens
President Ruto, who is currently in the US, expressed his admiration for Shujaa's performance against South Africa on his X account and assured the team of his support.
"Thrilled by Shujaa’s incredible show against South Africa in the Africa Rugby Sevens final in Harare. You have all our support as you prepare for the 2024 Paris Olympics. Hongera."
Azimio leader Raila Odinga also extended his congratulations to the team, lauding their outstanding performance.
"Congratulations, Shujaa! Kenya Sevens has become the Rugby Africa Sevens Champions by defeating South Africa 17-12, securing a spot in the 2024 Olympics Games in Paris. Your outstanding performance is commendable, and keep up the great work," he posted.
Shujaa's opening try against South Africa was scored by Patrick Odongo, with Tony Omondi converting, giving the East Africans a 7-0 lead.
Kenya Sevens beat South Africa
South Africa then scored two tries, the first by Selvin Davids, but Ronald Brown failed to convert. Christie Grobbelar added another try for South Africa, giving them a 12-7 lead at halftime.
In the second half, Odongo, who had been impressive throughout the tournament, scored his second try after an assist from Vincent Onyala, extending Shujaa's lead to 17-12 with John Okoth's try.
Kenya maintained their lead, securing their place on the international stage once again.
Before their final showdown against South Africa, Shujaa defeated Zimbabwe 35-10 in the semi-finals and delivered an impressive 26-0 performance against Burkina Faso in the quarterfinals.
This victory marked a triumphant return for Shujaa after suffering relegation from the World Series.