NAIROBI, Kenya, Aug 11 – Kenya Sevens head coach Benjamin Ayimba has offered no excuses after seeing their dream of attaining a first Olympic medal shattered by a resilient Japan side at the Deodoro Stadium in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil on Wednesday.
Shujaa were far from their best as they struggled to find a balance between hitting a winner and containing their errors.
Kenya, who lost all her group C matches, 31-7 at the hands of Great Britain, 28-5 to New Zealand and 31-7 to Japan, committed unforced mistakes that saw vice captain Collins Injera and his elder brother Humphrey Kayange sent to the sin-bin against New Zealand and Japan respectively.
The errors gifted their opponents crucial points and contributed to their dismal performance, raising concerns from rugby enthusiast back home especially after having a splendid 2015/16 season at the HSBC Sevens World Series where they won their first ever Cup title during the Singapore leg.
Following the losses that meant they finished bottom of the group on three points.
Kenya will now take on hosts Brazil in the 11th /12th playoff on Thursday evening as the curtain comes down on the Rugby sevens competition in Rio de Janeiro.
Nevertheless, Ayimba, who made history as the first coach to guide the team to a World Series leg glory, is looking on the positive side.
“It was another bad day in office against Japan, but I think that’s the game that we played with all of our hearts and I’m happy we didn’t dip. Usually we perform well on the first match than the last and against Japan we showed a lot of spirit and I’m happy that’s the case,” Ayimba, a former Kenya Sevens player said.
“It’s disappointing that we didn’t make it to the medal bracket but that means we have another Olympics to fight for maybe it’s one way God is telling us not to be complacent on what we do. I’m not happy but quite satisfied we are able to learn few lessons from here,” he asserted.
Injera was equally disappointed with the performance, saying they didn’t show the agility as they did in the World Series.
“We hoped to start with a win but it didn’t go our way. We didn’t show up in all our matches because we had a lot of mistakes and against Japan, we started well and we should have kept the momentum going but we lost it,” Injera, the all-time leading World Series try scorer, disclosed.
Ayimba had an ample preparation period for the Rio games with a three-week high altitude training camp at Nandi Hills, selecting his strongest squad that featured all the World Series regulars.