Kenyan girls find the going tough as they lose all three rugby matches


Battling Kenya went down 19-10 to Spain in their final Pool B match of the Rio 2016 Olympics women’s rugby sevens competition at the Deodoro Stadium on Sunday to end their preliminary engagements with three defeats.

It was a tough outing for Kenya who replaced South Africa as the continental representatives after the African giants withdrew saying they were not competitive enough.

Favourites New Zealand thrashed Kenya 52-0 in their first match before France crushed them 40-7 on Saturday to end the country’s hopes of advancing to the quarter-finals.

Skipper Cellestine Masinde admitted that the team was on a steep learning curve.

“We still need to perfect so much in our play to compete with other teams at this level,” said Masinde who scored a brilliant try to tie the scores at 7-7 against France.

Shujaa locks horns with Britain in their first olympic gold hunt,Today

Shujaa PrideRio

Kenya Sevens launch their quest for the coveted Olympic gold medal against the 2014 Commonwealth Games Plate winners, Great Britain, at 6pm today at the Deodoro Stadium in Rio de Janeiro.

They will then confront World champions New Zealand, who are also the Commonwealth Games silver medallists at 9.30pm. Kenya Sevens, the 2009 and 2013 World Cup semi-finalists, will then wrap up their Pool C outing tomorrow at 6pm against Japan.

Rugby sevens has adopted a 12-team format where the teams will be seeded after the pool matches before paving the way for the knockout stages later on Wednesday.

The top two teams in every pool will make it to the Main Cup where they will be joined by the next two best losers after the ranking.
The battle against New Zealand and Great Britain will be the most crucial for Kenya Seven’s campaign for a Main Cup slot.

The return from injury of Oscar Ouma and Dennis Ombachi, who are astute ball carriers, is a boost. It will also be a great moment for former Kenya 7s skipper Humphrey Kayange and is his younger brother and prolific try scorer Collins Injera.

Injera, who tops the World Rugby Sevens Series try charts with 235 will also confront England’s Dan Norton, who is the fourth-highest try scorer in series history (210), and James Rodwell, who set a new record of 69 consecutive series events earlier this yea

Okwiri stunner on Russian champion,Andrei Zamkovoi


Kenya's Rayton Nduku Okwiri produced the biggest shock of the boxing so far at the Rio Games on Sunday when he defeated Russia's welterweight London bronze medallist on a split decision.

The 9,000-seat arena gave the Russian boxers and a smattering of their fans a few half-hearted boos, after all 11 of the country's fighters were cleared to compete in Rio despite revelations of rampant state-run doping across Russian sports.

Okwiri was the underdog against Andrei Zamkovoi, who won bronze four years ago, in their welterweight clash.

But he made a nonsense of that and quickly endeared himself to the largely Brazilian crowd, who booed when the few Russian supporters chanted and shouted "Kenya! Kenya!" as the 30-year-old Okwiri kept pursuing his foe.
After overcoming his first opponent in a round 32 bout on Sunday evening, Rayton Okwiri is already dreaming of becoming only the second boxer to win a gold medal for Kenya at the Olympic Games.

Two of the three ringside judges scored in favour of Okwiri against Russian opponent, Andrei Zamkovoi in the fight staged at Riocentro Pavilion 6.

Okwiri, who outscored Zamkovoi 2-1 (29-28, 29-28 and 28-29), said victory has lifted his confidence to go all the way to the final.

However, Okwiri said the level of competition is tough and he will not underrate his next opponent.

Okwiri’s next opponent will be Mohammed Rabii of Morocco who got a bye into the round of 16.

Rio Olympics 2016 opening ceremony kicks off with a vibrant bang


The Rio Olympics officially started with a long and loud celebration of Brazilian culture that also featured some unfortunate reminders of the troubled backdrop to these Games.

The dominant images from the four-hour opening ceremony at the Maracana Stadium will be supermodel Gisele Bundchen's catwalk across the pitch to The Girl From Ipanema, the joyous arrival of Brazil's team and former marathon star Vanderlei de Lima lighting an Olympic cauldron that morphed into a golden disco ball.

But the boos that greeted acting Brazilian president Michel Temer's short address to open the Games, the smattering of jeers the Russian team received and the catcalls that followed a reference to government funding tell a different story.

Rio 2016 has had a difficult upbringing, with worries about the country's ability to afford it, Rio's preparations and sport's credibility in the face of a divisive doping crisis, but South America's first ever Olympics is now ready to entertain the world and perhaps revive a nation.

Temer, who took office in May when impeachment procedures were started against president Dilma Rousseff, tried to postpone his poor reception by opting out of the initial welcome alongside International Olympic Committee president Thomas Bach.

This meant the first boos of the evening went to the team from Brazil's traditional rival, Argentina, although they were of the pantomime variety and the selfie-snapping Argentinians did not seem fazed.

But by that point the Maracana was in full-on party mode as a succession of dancers, musicians and volunteers raced through routines intended to showcase Brazil's diversity and history, even finding time for a lecture on environmental issues.

Bundchen's long sashay was an early highlight, as was a clever section that featured a biplane appearing to fly out of the stadium and circle the city's signature Christ the Redeemer statue.

The ceremony's creative director Fernando Meirelles had less money to spend than his predecessors, including Danny Boyle, the mastermind of London 2012's memorable show, but he promised "the coolest party" and gave it a good go.

The Parade of Nations is always the Games' first big test of stamina, and with new countries such as Kosovo and South Sudan taking their place in the pageant for the first time, as well as a team of refugee athletes, Rio's race through the atlas was even more gruelling than usual.

the Olympic Torch Relay finally arrives at the Maracanã to fire up Rio 2016!!


After bringing the Olympic spirit to all corners of Brazil in a three-month marathon, the Olympic Torch Relay finally arrived at the Maracanã to fire up Rio 2016, bringing to life the Olympic cauldron.

In a spectacular finale to the Opening Ceremony on 5 August, long distance runner Vanderlei Cordeiro de Lima was the last torchbearer, who ignited the Olympic cauldron, a stunning mirrored pyre.

The Olympian had suffered heartbreak in Athens in 2004 when he was disrupted by an intruder while in the lead in the marathon but still managed to win bronze. He has since become synonymous with sportsmanship and perseverance.

It topped off an epic journey that began in May in the capital city of Brasília.

From there, it travelled through the colourful north-east, the enchanting Amazon, the gaucho lands of the south and the metropolises of São Paulo on its road to Rio.
The flame has surfed, sailed and soared in the hands of athletes and teachers, young and old.

Among the most memorable moments was the passage of the flame through the town of Caruaru in the north-eastern state of Pernambuco to the music of one of the most important Brazilian musicians, Luiz Gonzaga.Torchbearers and volunteers sent the relay viral with their spirited and rousing display as the town enjoyed the traditional São João festivities.

The relay also recognised Brazil’s origins, visiting the spot in the state of Bahia where explorer Pedro Alvares Cabral discovered the country in 1500.

Starlets beat Portuguese champions Benfica 3-0,Esse scores hat-trick


 National women soccer team Harambee Starlets started their preparations for the 2016 Africa Women Nations Cup Championships with a positive note as they hammered the Portuguese reigning champions CF Benfica 3-0, in a group A match in the ongoing fifth edition of COTIF Women Football Tournament on Sunday night in Valencia,Spain.

Spedag FC in form striker Esse Akida grabbed a hat trick in the 28th,49th and 70th minute to steer Starlets to their first win of the tournament.

It took the starlets just 30 minutes to open the account with Akida bouncing on the ball and sending it past Benfica goalkeeper.

She added her second at the beginning of the second half before completing her hat-trick 10 minutes from time.

Akida has been literally scoring in every league match for her side and she is currently the top score of WPL with 13 goals from six matches and the three goals in Spain added to Akida’s national team goal tally to six from four matches. Ms Esse attributed her great form on putting her mind fully on football after she culminated her studies in Kenya Methodist University (KeMU) last year.The win is yet another plus for the starlets who have continued to shine as the tournament approaches.

Advance Kenyan party of athletes arrives safely in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil


The first batch of Kenyan athletes to the 2016 Olympic Games has hit the ground running after arriving safely in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil on Sunday evening.

The delegation of 60 athletes and officials that left the country on Sunday morning was received by the team’s Chef de Mission, Stephen Soi.

All arrangement for Team Kenya to settle in the Olympic Village have been finalised.

Mr.Soi said that members of the technical teams of the disciplines involved have already had time to visit various training facilities.

Others were the judo, archery and weightlifting teams, comprising one athlete each, and a three-man boxing squad.

Sevens rugby coach Benjamin Ayimba said the team will embark on training once the players have had enough time to rest.

For the first time in recent years Kenya has a realistic chance of bagging a team medal at the Olympics.

Kenya Sevens can take confidence from their splendid performance at the last two Sevens World Cups.

Pooled in group C alongside World champions New Zealand, who are also 2014 Commonwealth silver medalists, England and Japan in the 12-team Rio rugby competition, the Benjamin Ayimba coached charges will be buoyed by their scintillating show at the Singapore Sevens in April, which saw them claim the Main Cup for the first time in their history beating Fiji 30-7 in the final.

At the same time, the next batch of athletes that was scheduled to leave the country on July 31 could have their date of departure pushed forward by a week.

This group is largely made up of track and field athletes who have been training at the Kipchoge Keino Stadium in Eldoret since the team was named at the national trials last month.

But with the athletics programme in Rio set to get underway on August 12, seven days after the games opening ceremony, the athletics team is looking at the possibility of rescheduling their departure date to August 7.

However, Nock secretary general, FK Paul, said no final decision has been arrived at and the tentative date of the contingent’s departure remains August 31.

The women’s 10,000m team will have the enviable task of jumpstarting Kenya’s gold rush on day one of the athletics programme on August 12.

The team will be led by 10,000m world champion Vivian Cheruiyot, with US-based Betsy Saina and African champions Alice Aprot providing the supporting cast.

Next will be the women’s marathon team which will enter the fray on August 14. The team of three comprises world silver medallist and Tokyo Marathon champion, Helah Kiprop, London Marathon champion, Jemima Sumgong, and 2016 Paris Marathon winner, Visiline Jepkesho.

All three athletes were part of the Kenyan team at the 2015 IAAF World Championships in Beijing, China.

First Delegations arrive in Rio, Olympic village welcomes its first residents!


More than 10,000 athletes will stay in the village of 31 apartment blocks close to the Olympic Park in Barra, in the west of Rio, during the Games.

And welcoming them was a Brazilian Olympian. Basketball legend and “mayor” of the village, Janeth Arcain, who experienced four athletes’ villages and won a silver medal at Atlanta 1996 and a bronze at Sydney 2000 for Brazil.

The first delegations to arrive will each be welcomed with a special 45-minute ceremony this week including a presentation of their flag and the Olympic anthem before the chefs de mission sit down with Arcain.

The village has been designed for the athletes’ every convenience including a laundry, florist, bank, post office, a beauty salon and a 24-hour dining hall, which has room for almost 7,000 and will serve more than 60,000 meals a day.

Noise restrictions will be in place at the village during the Games while athletes will also have around-the-clock access to 1,800m2 of gym area.

It will also feature the IOC Space, where a welcome team will be on hand to offer support and a Welfare Officer will be available to offer pastoral care and assistance.

The IOC Olympic Athletes’ Hub will have a special photo booth where the sporting heroes will be able to take a snap and share it online with fans.

Olympians will also be able to vote in the IOC Athletes’ Commission elections from 24 July until 17 August.

And they will be able to show their support for the Giving is Winning awareness campaign on the plight of refugees, jointly led by the IOC and UNHCR (United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees) as well as taking part in the IOC’s Play Fair initiative.

Meanwhile, athletes will find kiosks and vendors around the grounds selling typical Carioca snacks and drinks including coconuts, açaí and fruit juices.

The leisure area has videogames, musical instruments, snooker and table tennis for down time.

Golden Taki Slides to the Finish Line to win IAAF U20 youth Championship


It's common to see a dive at the line to win a championship race, but Kumari Taki took it one step further by sliding into the finish line to win the 1500m at the IAAF World U20 Championships to claim the victory Thursday in Bydgoszcz, Poland..

Taki charged to the front with 200 metres to run and it was a lead he never relinquished, his legs carrying him to the line. At the tail-end of a 53.42-second last lap, the Kenyan athlete fell to the ground with five meters remaining. Determined to win, he slid into the finish and reached over the line – just – to take gold ahead of Ethiopia’s Taresa Tolosa in 3:48.77. “I knew that the Ethiopian had a stronger kick than me so I had to dive at the line,” said Taki. “I made it.”

Taki's dive won the race in 3:48.63 over Taresa Tolosa and Anthony Kiptoo. Kenya’s Anthony Kiptoo came home third in 3:49.00, with France’s Baptiste Mischler fading to fourth near the finish in 3:49.52.


Security forces conduct large-scale anti-terror drill ahead of Rio 2016


Police and soldiers have carried out the biggest simulated counter-terrorism exercises to date ahead of the Olympic Games in Rio. The drills come as security is heightened after the truck attack in France.
Brazilian security forces conducted the training session on Saturday at a Rio de Janeiro train station, with the drill including a mock bomb attack on the train system and a shooting.
During the simulated counter-terrorism operation, two "terrorists" in a parked train set off an explosion and fired blank rounds. Soldiers soon arrived to contain the "attack," followed by members of special forces arriving in two helicopters who "neutralized" the perpetrators.
The drill, supervised by a central command, took place in the Deodoro train station in the north of the city, with Deodor being one of four main venues of the Summer Olympics, set to begin on August 5.
"The exercise was very useful, because it allowed us to work within real parameters for the operation and utilization of the troops," said General Mauro Sinott, who heads the military's counterterrorism unit.
Despite reports of threats to security and worries in some quarters that Brazilian security forces might not be up to the job, US Olympic authorities recently said they were satisfied that the Games would be kept safe.
"I felt like the safest place in the world is going to be the village and the competition venues, so I think our athletes wil be among the safest people in Rio because of all the security around them," said United States Olympic Committee chief executive officer Scott Blackmun.
Brazil plans to mobilize some 85,000 members of the security forces as of July 24 to protect the 10,500 athletes, officials and journalists attending the Games, as well as the 500,000 visitors coming from across the world to experience the event. The central command in charge of security will include experts from 106 countries.

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