NAIROBI, Kenya, Apr 5- Kenyans were in action in various disciplines on the opening day of the 2018 Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast Australia on Thursday, but none had concrete medal prospects.
Hanifa Said finished 23rd out of 24 competing athletes in the women’s triathlon that includes swimming, biking and running, with Bermuda’s Flora Duffy winning the gold medal.
Despite her finish, Said was excited at participating in her first Commonwealth Games especially in a sport not ordinarily associated much with Kenyans.
“I am happy to have been here and competing in the final. This was a great day for me and hopefully I can inspire more Kenyans to try this out,” an excited Said pointed out after her race at the Southport Broadwater.
In Lawn Bawl, Kenya’s Eunice Mbugua bowed out in the second round of Section C after losing 21-7 to Norfolk Island’s Carmen Anderson. Mbugua had earlier beaten Catherine Wimp of Papua New Guinea 21-15 in the first round.
Lawn Ball is a sport in which the objective is to roll biased balls so that they stop close to a smaller ball called a “jack” or “kitty”. It is played on a bowling green which may be flat or convex or uneven.
In Swimming, despite Steven Maina winning Heat Three of the men’s 50m butterfly, he failed to progress to the semi-finals after posting a low time of 26.02.
He tried his luck in the 100m backstroke but finished last after posting 1:01.65 in a race won by home boy Mitch Larkin.
Kenya’s other swimmer, Issa Mohammed, finished sixth in Heat Four of the 50m butterfly with Northern Ireland’s David Thompson winning.
In squash, Kenya had two participants. In the Men’s Singles, Hardeep Reel narrowly lost 3-2 to St. Vincent and the Grenadines’ Othniel Bailey while Khaliiqa Nimji lost 3-0 to Canada’s Nikki Todd.
Elsewhere, Benjamin Ochoma finished last in the final of the men’s 56 kg after lifting a combined mean total of 138 with a total of 62 at the snatch and 76 at the clean and jerk. Malaysia’s Muhammed Azroy won gold.
In the men’s 60kg boxing, Nicholas Okoth lost to Trinidad and Tobago’s Michael Alexander via a unanimous decision after all the five judges handed 10 points to the Trinidadian.
Tomorrow, Kenya will have three of its boxers in action. Elly Ochollah will face Scott Forrest of Scotland in the 91kg round of 16 while Shaffi Hassan will be up against Namibia’s Matias Humunyela in the 46-49kgs round of 16.
Edwin Oduor will also be in action, taking on Tanzania’s Selemani Kidunda in the men’s 75kg round of 32.