NAIROBI, Kenya, June 13 – With less than 24 hours to the official opening of the inaugural Africa Beach Games in Sal, Cape Verde, the Kenya Beach Handball and the men’s soccer teams have set their sights on the podium finish.
The teams arrived in Sal on Thursday ready for the competition that will see the men’s and women’s handball teams launch their campaign on Friday while the Soccer team will kick-off their tournament June 19.
The men’s handball team has been drawn in a tough pool where they will face former champions Egypt and Nigeria, a pool that head coach Fareed Mohammed is optimistic of maneuvering through, especially now that none of the teams have a background of the other.
“Almost a quarter of the teams that will be participating it will be the first time, so its not Kenya only, so the team has prepared well, and we are going to work hard to ensure we win. We have done our research well in knowing our opponents, so we are going to surprise them,” the coach stated. We have had three build up matches and we believe we selected the best.”
His captain warned his charges against underrating any opponent, urging them to take a match at a time.
“The preparations have been good, and we have positive mind towards the championship, and we believe we will bring the trophy home, we have bonded well, and we hope that the same spirit will continue in Cape Verde,” the skipper underscored.
The women’s captain, Magdalene Muthoni beamed with confidence is looking forward to having a good performance.
“We have trained well, and we are so prepared to go and win, we have monitored our opponents, learned new tactics and we are ready to take them on. On the pitch we are all equal,” Gathoni said.
Kenya will only be represented by the men’s team in the beach soccer who are not new in the game.
The team has competed in various tournaments before, losing to Ghana in the qualifying competition and this time, head coach Rajab Babu said that will be a motivation as they head to Cape Verde.
“From the preparations we have not had enough time to train, but we are happy for the opportunity to represent the country and I hope this time we will get a good result not like when we faced Ghana in the qualifiers. The boys are catching up very well, we played friendly matches against Uganda, Zanzibar and Tanzania that enabled us to improve on our mistakes.”