NAIROBI, Kenya, Aug 8 – Janet Okello went over twice as the national women’s rugby sevens team ended their Rio Olympics campaign on a high after beating Colombia 22-10 to finish 11th in the three day women’s competition that concluded at the Deodoro Stadium on Monday.
It was the first victory for the Kenya Lionesses after suffering losses, 52-0 to heavy weights New Zealand, 40-7 to France and 19-10 to Spain in their group B matches before going down 24-0 on the 9/12 rankings match.
Heading to the final playoff, Kenya did well to come a try down to avoid finishing last in the 12 nation tournament by dominating a resilient Colombia especially in the second half.
Colombia started on a high when Sharon Acevedo exploited the Kenyan defence, powering past Philadelphia Olando and Doureen Remour to sprint through the middle and ground the ball for the opener.
The Lionesses committed simple mistakes to concede three penalties with Remour being the casualty to be sent to the sin-bin, but that did not stop the Michael Shamia charges from pushing upfront for the equalizer that came through Okello after receiving a fine pass from Olando.
A determined Colombia, who were also searching for their maiden win in the tournament reclaimed the lead through Medina Khaterrine on the hooter for a 10-5 lead at the break.
Returning for the last half, Kenya came a re-energized side with Olando breaking through to set-up Irene Otieno who made good use of the space to sprint towards behind the sticks for a converted try.
Captain Celestine Masinde led by example when she sealed the win after a good display from the Lionesses to ground down the final try that ensured Kenya go away with something in their Olympics debut.