NAIROBI (Xinhua) --
World Series top scorer Collins Injera believes a
shift in rugby sevens dominance is good for the sport as Kenya
carries its best form into the Commonwealth Games.
Injera, who will be
making his third showing at the Games, says unity and hard work
have helped the team put together a string of good results and
believes it will continue at the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games
this weekend and the Singapore Sevens a week after.
“It will be my third
Commonwealth Games appearance in a row. All I can say is thank
you God and my supporters,” Injera said.
The Kenyan team has
no room for complacency in their quest to advance past the group
stage at the Games.
There are four
groups and the top ranked teams in each of the pools will
qualify for the semifinal, staying in contention for the medals
on offer. This is different from the last two Commonwealth Games
in Glasgow and New Delhi where the top two teams from each pool
sailed through to the quarters. But it is a challenge that
Injera believes his team will be able to take in its stride.
Kenya is pooled in
group C together with New Zealand, Canada and Africa Cup bronze
“We take the lessons
and move forward. Canada and Hong Kong was good to us. Next up
is the Commonwealth Games. We win and lose together and live to
fight another day,” he added.
Kenya turned around
their season in the World Series, finishing second in the last
two stops in Vancouver, Canada and Hong Kong.
of 18 members, led by head coach Innocent Simiyu, arrived at the
Gold Coast ahead of the weekend’s action.
Kenya dreams of rugby medal at
Games after Hong Kong disappointment
NAIROBI (Xinhua) --
The Kenya Rugby Sevens team turns their focus to
the Commonwealth Games, after failing to beat Fiji in the finals
of the Hong Kong Sevens.
Two yellow cards in
the first half for Kenya’s Collins Injera and Willy Ambaka dealt
a major blow to Shujaa’s title hopes as Fiji went into the break
with a 17-point lead.
A late resurgence
was not enough to turn the tables as Kenya went down 24-12 to
Fiji in a pulsating Hong Kong Sevens cup final. This was a
repeat of the final of the Vancouver Sevens where Fiji beat
Head coach Innocent
Simiyu urged his players to put their loss behind them and focus
on the bigger picture as he takes his team to the Gold Coast in
Australia for the Commonwealth Games.
Kenya’s rugby has
developed tremendously since the introduction of men’s rugby
sevens at the 1998 games in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. “They are
professionals and will pick it up from where they left off in
Hong Kong,” Simiyu said on Monday.
Kenya will start
their Pool C campaign at the Commonwealth Games on Saturday with
a match against Canada before taking on New Zealand. They will
wrap up their pool play assignment with a match against fellow
African side Zambia on the same day.
The top ranked teams
in each of the four pools will qualify for the semi-final,
staying in contention for the medals on offer. In the World
Series, Kenya have moved up one place on the log to seventh with
83 points as they head into the final three rounds.
South Africa (123
points) hold a slender three-point lead over Fiji (123 points)
with New Zealand (107 points), Argentina (90 points) and
Australia (89 points) rounding off the top five.