IN ARUSHA, TANZANIA
Kenya's Itigo Girls Secondary School Saturday won bronze in football as the East Africa Secondary School Games concluded here across different venues.
Uganda bagged gold and silver in both the boys' and girls' category with the finals at the Sheikh Abeid Memorial Stadium being local affairs.
It proved to be Kenya's only medal in the discipline as Dagoretti High School fell to Uganda’s Jinja Secondary School 4-3 on post-match penalties in the boys’ play-off match to settle for fourth place at the Tanzania Games Track and Safari grounds.
Kenyan boys' champions St Anthony's Boys Kitale were eliminated at the last eight stage, while girls' team Archbishop Njenga Secondary School did not go past the group stage.
Itigo, who lost 2-0 to Nyakach Girls Secondary School in the Kenyan final, avenged their defeat in the play-off where they triumphed 6-5 on post-match penalties after the two sides played out a 2-2 draw in normal and extra time.
The two sides lost to Ugandan opposition - Kawempe Muslim and Mukono High respectively - in their semi final clashes on Friday to miss out on an all-Kenyan final.
But Itigo coach Philip Kipkoech said the bronze medal is an achievement after missing out on these games for many years.
"I think it has been a successful year for us because we have won two medals in a month. Silver at the Nationals in Kisumu and now bronze. We want to build on this momentum in the coming years," Kipkoech said.
His Nyakach counterpart, Chrispin Odindo was also satisfied with their maiden show at the regional games.
"It is no mean feat to make it this far at this competition especially for first-timers like us. We have picked valuable lessons which will help us plan for future competitions," said Odindo.
Ugandan girls ended a seven-year drought after reclaiming the title they had last won during the 2012 edition held in Bujumbura, Burundi.
Kenya had emerged victorious in 2017 and 2018 through Wiyeta Girls Secondary School and Kwale Girls Secondary School after beating Kawempe Muslim in both finals held in Gulu, Uganda and Musanze, Rwanda respectively.
Kawempe finally ended their losing streak in the final as they saw off compatriots Mukono High School 1-0 in the contest.
Favourites St Mary’s Kitende dethroned holders Buddo Secondary School in the boys’ affair after sealing a 1-0 result against their fellow countrymen. It sealed a record-extending 13th crown for the Ugandan giants at these games.