Lo­cal champ Gitonga drops to 11th in cham­pi­onship

Daily Nation (Kenya) - - SPORT - BY BRIAN YONGA

Kenyan cham­pion Pa­trick Gitonga yes­ter­day dropped three places at the on­go­ing World English- Lan­guage Scrab­ble Play­ers As­so­ci­a­tion Cham­pi­onship at Laico Re­gency Ho­tel, Nairobi.

Gitonga fin­ished 11th at the end of day three of the com­pe­ti­tion yes­ter­day. He was eighth at the end of day two on Thurs­day.

The 50-year-old ended with a spread of +292, the high­est placed Kenyan in the bi­en­nial global event that has brought to­gether 118 play­ers from 38 coun­tries. Af­ter an im­pres­sive sec­ond day, Gitonga was look­ing to break into the top five but it was not to be as he only won three out of seven rounds.

He started off the day on a wrong foot­ing, los­ing to Nige­ria’s Peter Moses 327 – 579 be­fore bounc­ing back to see off Amer­i­can Dave Wie­gand 382 – 341 to fin­ish with a spread of +41 and then beat Sri Lankan cham­pion Lak­shan Wan­niarachchi 485-406.

He lost the next three matches against Eta Karo, de­fend­ing cham­pion Welling­ton Jighere (both Nige­ria) and world num­ber one Nigel Richards of New Zealand. The home player would end the day with a 422 – 392 win against Great Bri­tain’s David Webb.

Gitonga is hop­ing he can break into the top five places on the penul­ti­mate day of the com­pe­ti­tion this morn­ing.

“It was not such a good day but I dug in and was able to get a cou­ple of wins un­der my belt and I am con­fi­dent of a good show in the fi­nal rounds,” Gitonga said yes­ter­day.

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