NAIROBI, April 19 – The victorious Kenya Sevens team returned home to a heroic welcome on Tuesday afternoon after displaying a milestone performance at the eighth round of the HSBC Sevens World Series where they lifted their first ever Main Cup in Singapore over the weekend.
The team that was led by skipper Andrew Amonde and the man of the tournament Collins Injera touched down at 2:15pm to bring the busy Jomo Kenyatta International Airport to a standstill as Cabinet Secretary for Sports Arts and Culture Dr Hassan Wario led government officials, relatives and friends to receive the team.
Speaking upon arrival, an ecstatic Injera, who grounded his 225th career try to close on world leading record holder Argentine Gomez Cora said it was a dream come true after featuring for the national team for nine years.
“Winning this Cup feels awesome. I have been in this game for almost a decade and lifting the trophy shows how many sacrifices and how far we have come as a team. During the semi finals, I proposed to take the penalty because I had a feeling and knew well it was the only chance that could take us to the final,” Injera, who is the Shujaa vice captain asserted.
He added, “We will rest and enjoy the moment. Recovery will be important then we go back to training and try and work on things that did not work for us in the last two tournaments.”
His elder brother veteran Humphrey Kayange stated, “It feels nice to become a champion after attempting for a long time. We believed in our ability and our defence worked for us in the last two tournaments.”
Wario promised to reward the team that defied the odds to upset Singapore and overall World Series champions Fiji 30-7 in the pulsating final.
“This is the day you feel proud to be Kenyan, beating the world is not something easy. A few years we thought rugby was gone but it has come back with a bang. We are proud of our boys and we welcome them home. We will sit down with them together with their administration and look at how we can help them going forward,” Wario declared.
The team’s convoy proceeded to a Nairobi hotel where they were hosted to a luncheon by title sponsors Kenya Airways.
Kenya is ranked seventh in the log on 85 points, ahead of traditional heavyweights including England and France, serving notice of their intentions for Rio Olympic Games where they will be one of the medal contenders.
They will take a 10 day rest before returning to training to prepare for the last two rounds in Paris and London.
In Paris, Kenya has been drawn in a relatively fair Pool A alongside titans New Zealand, Portugal and Russia.