NAIROBI, Kenya, Aug 20 – When they left for Rio Olympics, the Kenya Sevens team had high hopes of winning a medal, but when it came into the actual performance they were a far cry from their ambition.
Straight losses in the group to Great Britain (31-7), New Zealand (28-5) and Japan (31-7) meant their ambition to fight for a medal were all but thwarted and they were now left to fight for pride in the classification matches.
The downward trend continued in the 9/10 play off, losing surprisingly to Spain 14-12, only saving face with a last gasp 24-0 win over hosts Brazil in the 11/12 play off.
“The performance was badly off. We didn’t achieve as we had promised and we fell short of our targets. We still tried to work our way and ended up losing everything. I think we underperformed looking at the kind of players we had on board,” Skipper Andrew Amonde said as the team touched down from Rio de Janeiro on Friday night.
“It was a bad performance from us and it is something we know as a team and we to go back and try to bounce back. We are very disappointed but it’s something that comes with sport. We have a choice; we can go down and build ourselves from this and improve for the future or we can dwell on it and remain there,” a dejected Amonde added.
The same team that was greeted by song and dance, even being accorded the prestige of using the presidential pavilion when they arrived from their conquest in Singapore after winning the main cup, could only afford to take some shine off the athletics team who had travelled on the same plane with them.
It was a disheartening end to a season that had seen them pick the second highest ever haul of points in a season.
“The whole Olympic experience was good for us but on the field, things didn’t work out the way we wanted. We didn’t perform as we expected to. It happens sometimes you go in there, snooze a bit and lose the game,” vice captain Collins Injera offered.
The team received a lot of flak from Kenyan on social media over their performance, some going as far as accusing them of going for a holiday in Rio instead of competing.
But Injera came to the team’s rescue, terming the performance as ‘just a bad day in office’.
“When the team left here, we didn’t train the whole season to go out there and have fun. We wanted to go and give our best and medal but it didn’t happen. It is unfortunate it wasn’t our day. We lost key aspects of the game in terms of breakdown and recycling of the ball. For us those are areas we need to work on in this coming season,” Injera, also the sevens series highest try scorer told Capital Sport.
He adds the team should work on their consistency as well as ensuring they improve on their technical intensity for better performances.