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Kojal finally makes it to team Kenya, remains upbeat ahead of AAG

In Summary

• Kojal finished second behind Western top seed  Josiah Wandera in the seven rounds men’s trials.

• The lady’s team is made up of  Doreen Juma  who finished ahead of  Nelly Mutuma, and youngster  Pamela Glory who got a wild card.

Ken Kojal in previous event
Table Tennis Ken Kojal in previous event
Image: Courtesy

After failing to make the cut to the previous All Africa Games by a whisker, Ken Kojal will finally make a debut at this year’s event and believes he has what it takes to perform well.

 Kojal booked a slot to the Morocco  event in August  thanks to her come from behind to see off favourite Peter Theuri of Nairobi  3-1(7-11, 11-9, 12-10, 11-8) during  the April national trials in Nairobi.

“I had trained well with my teammates and knew I would make the cut this time round after narrowly missing previous editions”. said  Kojal.

 

Kojal finished second behind Western top seed  Josiah Wandera in the seven rounds men’s trials,  to reserve a place in the national team with an unbeaten record. 

 “I lost to Wandera 3-2 in the group stages before falling to him 3-0 in the round robin event, which means I wasn’t that bad and am currently  working on my weaknesses before the tournament.” said the 32 year old.

Kojal trains with his team mates at City  table tennis club at Nairobi’s city stadium, under veteran coach and former Kenyan international  Stanley Moyi as they await the official camp., where Kenya team coach Fahd Daim will takeover on a yet to be announced date.

Kojal will partner with senior  Josiah Wandera , Brian Mutua and upcoming junior star Zaki Pema who got a wild card.Top seed Mutua also earned a wildcard to the (AAG)  by virtue of being in the  May,  Olympic Solidarity Program training in the Denmark.

“It is every player’s dream to don the national team colours and am happy my prayers and hard work saw me get my first chance at age 32, after finishing second among the seven best locally” noted Mutua.

He added: “I  am very happy” and looking forward to reach the knock out stage, despite the imminent great opposition from Egypt, Nigeria and Ghana.

I watched them in the African championships hosted at Kasarani in 2017, and I know what to expect from them.”

 

Head coach Fahd Daim observed he was impressed by all the trialists both men and women,  though Kojal, who beat all the odds to clinch the direct ticket to Rabat surprised him.

“Mutua who trained in Denmark will bring more dynamics to the team and, I expect him to reach the knock out stage, after falling in the preliminaries during the 2018 India common Wealth games”noted Daim

The lady’s team is made up of  Doreen Juma  who finished ahead of  Nelly Mutuma, and youngster  Pamela Glory who got a wild card, after veteran  Sejal Thakkar who represented Kenya in the commonwealth games retired from the game.