• To secure a slot in Muscat, Kenya finished third at the first Africa Hockey 5s World Cup qualifiers held in Ismailia, Egypt, in December 2022.
• Kenya beat New Zealand 6-1 in their opening match but fell 7-2 to Trinidad and Tobago in their second.
The Kenyan Hockey 5s assistant coach Kelvin Lugalia wants the government to put structures in place to develop the not-so-popular version of the sport.
Lugalia helped Kenya to a seventh-place after overcoming Trinidad and Tobago 7-5 in the classification matches of the inaugural Hockey 5s World Cup in Muscat, Oman.
Bethuel Masambu netted a hat-trick, Moses Ademba hit a brace while Ivan Ludiali and Danstone Wabwire added a goal each.
16 teams from five confederations took part in the championships.
To secure a slot in Muscat, Kenya finished third at the first Africa Hockey 5s World Cup qualifiers held in Ismailia, Egypt, in December 2022.
“These (results) give the government a good reason to invest in hockey 5s," said Lugalia. "If we have good structures, I believe we can bring glory to Kenya. Securing a top eight position in the world shows great potential."
Kenya beat New Zealand 6-1 in their opening match but fell 7-2 to Trinidad and Tobago in their second.
In the final group-stage match against Australia, Wabwire and Ludiali struck a hattrick each with Masambu striking once in a 7-4 thriller to reach the quarters.
“Reaching the quarterfinals meant a lot to the team. This secured a top-eight finish in the world, a big achievement considering the kind of opponents we faced,” noted Lugalia.
However, their fairy-tale run was halted by Oman in the last eight with the hosts winning it 5-2.
A fifth-place playoff followed but they could not match an Indian opponent, who crushed them 9-4.
Lugalia said their deficiencies in finishing were to blame for the defeats.
“Hockey 5s is a game of chance. If we don’t attack we don’t score as many goals. In the games against Oman and India, we had plenty of chances but we failed to convert,” he noted.
However, this did not dampen the spirit of the team.
“We had mixed results at the tournament but the players are happy with what we achieved,” added Lugalia.