Kenya women’s team face USA in Pun­jab to­day

The Star (Kenya) - - Sports Local - BY CONSOLATA MAKOKHA/

Kenya kabaddi women’s national team face the United States in the on­go­ing World Cup in Pun­jab State, In­dia to­day.

The girls gar­nered their sec­ond pre­lim­i­nary win by beat­ing Sri Lanka 45-37 to qual­ify for the semis. They had ear­lier lost 45-15 to host In­dia in their open­ing match, and ham­mered Mex­ico 45-11 in their sec­ond group tie.

They face USA, who topped Group ‘B’ un­beaten as Group ‘A’ leader In­dia meet New Zealand in the sec­ond semi. Raiders So­phie Ayi­eta and Lil­lian Nthiga led the team’s of­fence while stop­pers Mercy Obiero (cap­tain) and Leah Wam­bui (as­sis­tant cap­tain) gar­nered more points in the de­fence. Coach Nancy Wachuka said the semis will be a tough tie but the girls’ are men­tally pre­pared.

“USA is an ex­pe­ri­enced team with phys­i­cally big play­ers. We have to be tac­ti­cal and fast, and em­ploy dif­fer­ent strate­gies in both the of­fen­sive and de­fen­sive play in a bid to desta­bilise our op­po­nents’ plan and score points,” said Wachuka. “We will ap­proach this game with a win­ning at­ti­tude,” she added.

De­spite win­ning their last two pre­lim­i­nary fix­tures, the men’s lineup bowed out of the ti­tle con­tention. The Kenyan men ham­mered neigh­bours Tan­za­nia 55-22, and Argentina 63-25 to set­tle for the fourth place be­hind group lead­ers Iraq, USA and Aus­tralia.

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