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Team for Zone Five Zambia contest picked

Tuesday April 04 2017
NANDWA_PIX

Alfred Nandwa in action at a past competition at Thika Sports Club. Nandwa is captaining the Kenyan team at the Africa Region Five Championship in Kitwe, Zambia. PHOTO | CHRIS OMOLLO |

By LARRY NGALA

The Kenya Golf Union has picked Kenya’s national men’s team for this year’s Africa Region Five Team Championship to be hosted by Zambia next week.

The tournament, formerly known as Africa Zone Six Championship, will be held from April 10 to 15 in Kitwe.

The four-man Kenyan team, which has been training under national head coach John Patrick van Liefland, is expected to leave for Kitwe this weekend for the championship.

Kenya will compete against 11 other countries namely Angola, Botswana, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Swaziland, Zambia, Zimbabwe and Uganda.

The four Kenya players who were selected after the Windsor Classic three weeks ago are Alfred Nandwa, Samuel Njoroge (both from Kenya Railway Golf Club), John Karichu (Limuru Country Club) and Edwin Mudanyi (Vet Labs Sports Club).

It will be led to Kitwe by Kenya Golf Union chairman Muchau Githiaka and vice chairman and tournament director Richard Wanjalla along with the coach.

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Some changes were introduced to the tournament during last year’s championship in Ezulwini, Swaziland, following the disbanding of the Supreme Council for Sports in Africa whose functions were placed within the Africa Union’s Sports Commission.

That means Kenya is now in Region Four as opposed to Zone Five as was previously the case.

The new changes also mean that the tournament is open to countries in Region Five only, and countries like Kenya, Mauritius and Uganda can only play by invitation and field only one team of four players while members of the region are allowed two teams of four players each.

Kenya won the tournament once in 2010 in Gaborone, Botswana, while Uganda won it in 2015 at Uganda Golf Club in Kampala.

SOUTH AFRICA DOMINATE

The Region Five event remains one of the most prestigious golf competitions in Africa besides the All Africa Team Championship whose 2017 edition will be held in Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe, in October.

The Region Five was first played in Gaborone in February 1982 between Zimbabwe, Zambia, Botswana, Swaziland, Malawi, Lesotho, Mozambique, and Namibia.

South Africa were allowed in 1993 in Namibia.

They did not take part the following year (1994) due to the first free elections were.

South Africa returned in 1995 when the event was hosted at Nairobi’s Windsor Golf Hotel and Country Club.

They have dominated the event since then, save for the 2010 and 2105 editions.

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