Rugby Rugby

Ayimba shrugs off Vancouver results, focuses on Olympics

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Kenya Sevens head coach Benjamin Ayimba at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport when the team arrived from Canada.PHOTO/Raymond Makhaya

Kenya Sevens head coach Benjamin Ayimba at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport when the team arrived from Canada.PHOTO/Timothy Olobulu

NAIROBI, MARCH 18- The national sevens head coach Benjamin Ayimba says he is not disappointed with Shujaa’s display in the last two legs of the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series, outlining his biggest focus is preparing for the Olympic Games in Rio De Janeiro.

The shorter version of the game will be making its debut in the Summer Games when the event gets underway in August, and Ayimba disclosed that he wants to make a good impression.

Shujaa qualified for the Olympics after narrowly beating Zimbabwe in the Africa Qualifier last year.

“The Olympics is very important and this is what we are focusing on game by game. The series is played every year but the Olympics is something that happens once in four years so it is very important we prepare in the best way possible,” Ayimba stated.

The head coach, who had his worst performance in Vancouver where he only managed to collect one point, pointed out that he has been using the past six rounds to build a formidable squad for Olympics.

The latest debutant to catch the eye of the coach was Impala RFC’s utility back Sammy Oliech, who dotted three tries on his first appearance in Las Vegas and Vancouver tours.

“Sammy (Oliech) has been excellent in his debut and we are hoping he remains consistent. He is one of the people we are going to consider for the Olympics. We will give other players a chance because we are working as a team. It’s a marathon and we are making changes as we progress,” Ayimba told Capital Sport.

Kenya managed to pick11 points in Vancouver and Las Vegas to remain stagnated eighth on 52 points.

“Our first target this season was to get out of 13th and we have achieved that. It takes a lot of mental strength to keep the winning habit and that is why we had varied results in Vancouver. However, we are getting there and ticking the boxes we need to tick.”

His sentiments were echoed by skipper Andrew Amonde, who tipped his team-mates to bounce back in the next two legs in Hong Kong and Singapore

“With the injuries that we have, the main focus over the next two weeks is improving on our mistakes. It is a tough pool but we can be able to maneuver through to the Main Cup quarters,” Amonde opined.

The team faces injury blows in Leonard Mugaisi, who is out for seven weeks with a dislocated wrist, winger Dennis Ombachi suffered an ankle knock, Billy Odhiambo, Oscar Ayodi with a knee injury and Oscar Ouma.

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