The Kenya national Badminton team is optimistic of registering impressive results at the forthcoming Uganda International Open set for Kampala Uganda February 25th-28th.
The Kenyan team made up of 18 players left for the championship Monday.
Kenya will use the tournament to begin their qualification for the 2022 Commonwealth games set for Birmingham, UK.
The players who were picked after taking part in two tournaments organized by the national Badminton Federation include 14 on government sponsorship while four are sponsored by well wishers.
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The Kenyan team has set a target of at least reaching the semi final stages in four categories that they will participate in: men’s singles, the women singles, the women doubles and the mixed doubles.
The Uganda open is one of the nine tournaments that Kenya is set to feature in so as to gather enough points for the qualification of the Commonwealth games in United Kingdom. Kenya needs to finish among the top 14 countries to qualify.
Kenya’s top female player Mercy Mwethya will use the championship to gains points as she remains in hunt for an Olympic slot. Mwethya who was awarded an Olympic scholarship is also expected to feature at the forthcoming South Africa International tournament.
“The funding has really helped .Again, I am now able to pay fully for my membership for example for the club (at Sikh Union) and not worry about it, and I’m also able to pay for the gym and the gym instructors, so it has really changed a lot when it comes to my training and traveling as well,’’ Mwethya remarked.
Team captain John Wanyoike was optimistic that they will register improved performance in Kampala.
“This particular tournament we have been training for it since 2019. So, the whole of 2019 we have been training, we went there in early February 2020 and we performed very well . Our target is not just winning. We are eyeing qualification for the Commonwealth Games for the first time as a team of 10 players,”Wanyoike intimated.
The squad will be under the tutelage of head coach John Odhiambo assisted by Martin Kanyange and Alfred Muthomi.