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Kenya hockey to face stiff challenge at Youth Olympics in Argentina

NAIROBI (Xinhua) -- Kenya will be among the 12 hockey teams that have secured qualification to compete at this week’s Youth Olympics in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

With a budget of about 350,000 U.S. dollars, Kenya is entering a lean team in the elementary games for youths at the Olympic stage and hockey will have nine out of 20 athletes the country will be sending to Argentina. Athletics (10) and swimming (one) will be the other members of the Kenya Team.

The hockey team of boys are training in Nairobi ahead of their Wednesday departure to South America and Team Kenya Chef de Mission Anthony Kariuki said here on Monday, “We lacked the funds to send the team abroad for training or organize friendly matches. They just returned home from the Africa Youth Games and that experience is what they will carry to Argentina.”

The team has Ivan Morgan, Edson Isaac, Bryton Ndwati, Brian Nyabuto, Robinson Omutekete, Paul Navangi, Ian Olando, Samuel Kimaru and Richard Njuki.

The International Hockey Federation (FIH) confirmed the 12 women’s and 12 men’s teams will participate in the Buenos Aires Youth Olympic Games. The Youth Olympics will start on Oct. 7 and end on  Oct. 14.

In the women’s event, hosts Argentina will be joined by Australia, Austria, China, India, Mexico, Namibia, Poland, South Africa, Uruguay, Vanuatu and Zimbabwe.

The men’s event will see Argentina welcome Australia, Austria, Bangladesh, Canada, India, Kenya, Malaysia, Mexico, Poland, Vanuatu and Zambia.

Some hockey teams will be participating in their first ever Youth Olympic Games, namely Argentina, Austria, India, Kenya, Malaysia, Mexico, Poland and Vanuatu in the men’s event and Australia, Austria, India, Mexico, Namibia, Poland and Zimbabwe and in the women’s competition.

Four years ago in Nanjing 2014 Youth Olympic Games in China, the hosts won the women’s event while Australia got the men’s gold.

“This is going to be a fascinating event, combining raw talent with great potential. We can’t wait to get underway in Buenos Aires,” said FIH CEO Thierry Weil.


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