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Kenyan handball teams begin Zonal championships on high

The national handball teams posted astounding wins during the first day of the Zone Five Championships in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia on Wednesday evening.

The women’s team, who are the tournament’s defending champions, beat Uganda 27-23 on their opening match while their male counterparts recorded a 25-18 win over Uganda in the other match of the day.

Sensational attacker Merina Andala was in superb form during the match and accounted for a good 13 points, while her Nairobi Water team mate Brenda Ariviza and winger Judith Ougo scored 9 points between them.

The women took command of the game from the onset and were leading 14-10 at half time. The Ugandans failed to recover from the endless attacking efforts of Andala and her team.

Women’s coach Jack Sandan told Nairobi News that he was delighted with the result, and that it has boosted their confidence ahead of their next match.

WINNING START

“It is always a good thing to record a winning start because it gives the team even more confidence and morale and now I am less worried about our next opponents. Our focus for this year however is not only to retain the zonal championships, but to also record a podium finish during the upcoming All Africa Games,” he said.

Davis Omondi was outstanding for the men’s team and contributed nine points on their way to a 25-18 score against Uganda.

The men’s team was drawn against Rwanda and Uganda in Pool A, while Pool B had Ethiopia and Burundi. Kenya, Ethiopia and Uganda are the only countries which turned up for the competitions and were therefore drafted into a single pool.

The women are scheduled to play Ethiopia in the second and final match of the day, while the men’s team will face off with Rwanda in their next match.

The national women’s team prides itself for having won consecutive titles in the 2003, 2007 and 2011 editions, while the men’s team have emerged runners up to Egypt in the last two editions.

The zonal competitions are also being used as qualifiers for the 11th edition of the All Africa Games scheduled for September this year in Congo, Brazzaville.