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April 25, 2018

Home players reign: Battle for slots to Africa Junior Championships continues this weekend

 Shena Kotechaduring Eastern Africa Junior Championships openers
Shena Kotechaduring Eastern Africa Junior Championships openers

It was double delight for Kenya as the U-14 boys and U-16 girls won their Eastern Africa Junior Championships openers at the Nairobi Club yesterday.

The six-nation championships which pools three players from each nation saw the trio of U16 players, Shena Kotecha, Angela Okutoyi and Claire Muthoni win their matches against Ugandan opponents.

Kotecha saw off Patience Athieno of Uganda 6-0, 6-2 while Okutoyi supplanted Shanitah Namagembe 6-0, 6-0. The pair of Okutoyi and Muthomi beat the Ugandan pair of Namagembe and Hanan Wanjiku in the doubles category, winning 6-0, 6-2.

In the boys under 14 show, the Kenyan team had to do without the services of Jayson Mbogoro, who fell ill hours prior to the first match.

The duo of Brandon Sagala and Karl Shah rose to the occasion and beat Comoros duo of Hassaini Rouchedi and Antoissi Mohammed 6-0, 6-0.

In the singles category Sagala overpowered Rouchedi 6-1, 6-0 while Shah thumped Mohammed 6-0, 6-1.

The rookies will face Tanzania in their day two matches.

Meanwhile, fireworks are expected when the U16 home team take on Uganda today. Kenya will be fielding Ryan Randiek, Derrick Ominde and Hooker Suhail and head coach Allan Atola is hopeful of a place in continental showpiece in South Africa.

“The boys have talents and I believe when their skills are merged they can beat anyone. Generally, Team Kenya has selected the best in each category and I think the region will have Kenya to count on in the African Junior Championships.

The winning country in the tournament will represent the East Africa region in the continental showpiece in March. Three Kenyan players have already booked places in the African event at the singles level.

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