Kenya Ports Authority (KPA) were forced to dig deep before edging Kenya Civil Aviation Authority (KCAA) to retain their Kenya Communications Sports Organisation (Kecoso) Games netball women's title on Thursday.
The dockers, under the tutelage of Jacinta Safari, beat their arch-rivals at Kisii High School in a match that was decided in extra time after a 37-37 tie in regulation time.
Results in the quarters in normal time were (8-10, 10-10, 9-7 and 10-10) before KPA emerged winners following 3-5 and 6-2 scores in extra time.
In the third place play-off at the same venue, Kenya Ferry Services (KFS) beat Ministry of Transport, Infrastructure, Housing, Urban Development and Public Works (MoTIHUD & PW) 32-26. Patricia Achieng scored a game-high 26 for the winners.
In basketball, KCAA beat defending champions Postal Corporation of Kenya (PCK) 60-45 to lift the men’s crown.
Job Bryan and Titus Musembi returned 20 points and 10 points respectively for KCAA while Ian Muindi replied for PCK with 12.
KCAA joined their women counterparts who beat last year’s champions KPA 50-44 on Wednesday to scoop the title.
The Carol Ouma-coached side comprising big names like Lucy Mwachuma and Rose Mushila had secured a 42-41 first leg victory over KPA. KCAA and KPA were the only teams in this category played on a round-robin basis.
KCAA men’s team coach, Ken Ondiek said his players were well prepared for the game after winning their previous meeting in the group stages by only half a basket 46-45.
“I expected to win after I discovered their weak points during our previous match,” said the former Kenyan international who won four league titles with Cooperative Bank in the 80s.
Earlier at the same venue, KPA finished third in men’s basketball after hitting KAA 52-27.
Volleyball coordinator, Muchiri Wachira said men winners will be known on Friday morning after the return match between table leaders KPA and KCAA scheduled for 10am.
KPA have nine points while KCAA have six. KAA finished bottom after losing all their matches. Volleyball matches are being played on home and away basis, as the three teams are the only ones taking part.
In the only match played on Thursday, KPA beat KAA 3-0 in straight sets (25-17, 25-17, 25-8).
Meanwhile, the athletics programme starts on Friday at the Gusii Stadium with athletes from the region invited to compete as guests.
Former Africa 400 metres champion Kennedy Ochieng, one of the organisers of the annual championships, says locals will be allowed to compete along with athletes from the Kecoso grouping.
Track and field events were moved to Friday and Saturday as the Gusii Stadium was occupied by the football competition.
“There are a lot of young and fresh talented athletes in this region and we must give them an opportunity so that these organisations can identify them and who knows, they may pick one or two,” Ochieng, a gold medallist at the 1999 All Africa Games in Johannesburg and 1993 African Championships in Durban, said.
The track and field competition will give athletes a chance to prepare for various international competitions in the build-up to the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.
“It’s only at the grassroots that you can get fresh talents but unfortunately in most cases they are barred from taking part during such events,” Ochieng added. However, only athletes from government parastatals and ministries will be awarded.
The Gusii region boasts of great pioneer athletes among them Nyandika Mayioro, Charles Asati, Hezekiah Nyamao and Robert Ouko, the latter three who were in the Kenyan 4x400 metres relay team that won gold at the 1972 Munich Olympics.