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Kenya’s early medal hopes as Games open in Rabat, Monday

TEAM Kenya beach volleyball women players Gaudencia Nakhumicha Makokha and Naomi Too are in Tuesday’s semi-finals of the 12th African Games tournament in Rabat. This sport is the opportunity of one of the earliest medals of the Games officially opened at a very low key ceremony on Monday.

The beach volleyball finals are Wednesday and in order to guarantee themselves of a medal, the Kenya girls must first beat Mozambique (Moiane/Mucheza) in the semi-finals.

Top: Gaudencia Makokha (left) and Naomi Too, the Team Kenya beach volleyball pair leaving Jomo Kenyatta International Airport for Rabat, Morocco. Above: Gaudencia Makokha (lef) and Naomi Too in one of their successful contests, v Gambia, at the 12th African Games

Top: Gaudencia Makokha (left) and Naomi Too, the Team Kenya beach volleyball pair leaving Jomo Kenyatta International Airport for Rabat, Morocco. Above, below, bottom: Gaudencia Makokha (lef) and Naomi Too in one of their successful contests, v Gambia, at the 12th African Games

It has been a sterling performance for the Kenyan pair, including a fantastic felling of Nigeria (Nnoruga/Franco) in the quarter finals where the Kenyans took the first set 21-13, lost the second 22-24 but recovered to triumph 15-12.

“Gau” Makokha, incidentally played indoor volleyball in the last African Games in Brazzaville, Congo in 2015, a member of a largely Team Kenya ‘B’ side that won the Gold after a giant felling act of Cameroon.

Earlier Kenyan victories were: 2-0 v Gambia (Cessay/Kujabi) 21-12, 21-10; 2-0 v Benin (Gnangbo/Gnondenou) 21-14, 21-1.

President Kenyatta (2nd right) hands flag to Team Kenya captains Julius Yego (right), Mercy Moim (3rd from right). Chief executive officer Charles Nyaberi is 2nd from left, deputy chief de mission Shadrack Maluki (left) at State House on Monday, wishing them success in Morocco. Photo/MOHMMED AMIN

President Kenyatta (2nd from right) hands flag to Team Kenya captains Julius Yego (right), Mercy Moim (3rd from right). Chief executive officer Charles Nyaberi is 2nd from left, deputy chief de mission Shadrack Maluki (left) at State House on Monday, wishing them success in Morocco. Photo/MOHAMMED AMIN

Kenyan squads that have been arriving in Morocco in batches face early Games’ action on Tuesday in: Boxing, Handball and Rowing. On Wednesday there is: Cycling (time trials) and Basketball 3-on-3 where the team’s participation is uncertain.

The track and field athletes are still back in Nairobi and training at Moi International Sports Centre, Kasarani, ahead of the departure on Aug 23. The Athletics programme is August 26-30. Team Kenya will have 234 Athletes representing 22 disciplines, of 26, being hosted in Morocco.

President Uhuru Kenyatta is affectionately mobbed by elated members of Team Kenya at State House, Nairobi on Monday as he wished them success ahead of the 12th African Games in Morocco. This and other photos by MOHAMMED AMIN and COURTESY Presidential Communication Service Unit Press Unit Gamest State House

President Uhuru Kenyatta is affectionately mobbed by elated members of Team Kenya at State House, Nairobi on Monday as he wished them success ahead of the 12th African Games in Morocco. This coverage, and below Photos/MOHAMMED AMIN and COURTESY Presidential Communication Service Unit (PSCU)

President Uhuru Kenyatta on Monday afternoon hosted, at State House, Team Kenya members still in Nairobi and handed them the national flag, wishing them success at 12th African Games. He asked the team to make the country proud through “excellent and disciplined performances”

He added: “Uphold patriotism and team spirit so as to succeed in the competition”. The President also asked team leaders to make sure all money owed to the athletes was paid immediately and before they left to Morocco: “It is their money, it should be in their pockets [by now]”, the President said.

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