TUNIS, Tunisia, Feb 27 – Kenya’s four representatives at the African continental Olympic qualifiers in Tunisia started off their campaign on a sour footing, all four losing their opening matches on Thursday.
Kenya’s top seed Brian Mutua lost 4-0 (11-3, 11-8, 11-9, 11-7) to Congolese Saheed Idowu while second seed Josiah Wandera also suffered the same fate (11-2, 11-4, 11- 6, 11-9) in a Group I match losing to ITTF Africa Top 16 Cup Runner Up Aruna Quadri of Nigeria.
“I attacked him throughout the match but made some errors when I got the chance to attack. I knew he is an experienced player but that didn’t intimidate me, so decided to attack from the word go. Second set I was leading 9-4 and then 10-5 but he managed to catch which distracted my game,” Mutua said after his loss.
Wandera said: “I started off on a low note in the first two sets but made ammends in the last two where I was able to take some points off the Nigerian legend. I felt much better as the match wore on and developed the much needed confidence to attack him.”
In women’s Group 2, Doreen Juma also suffered a straight sets loss to Haj Salah of Tunisia (11-6, 11-6, 11-3, 11-7). In Group I, Lydia Setey didn’t fare better losing her match to Jalim Nandeshwaree of Mauritius 11-7, 11-6, 11-9, 11-4.