Kenya finish 14th as North Africa dominates beach games

Tuesday June 25 2019

Kenya’s Gaudencia Makokha makes a perfect service reception during the semi-finals of the beach volleyball tournament at the Africa Beach Games in Sal, Cape Verde, on June 21, 2019. PHOTO | NOCK |

Kenya’s Gaudencia Makokha makes a perfect service reception during the semi-finals of the beach volleyball tournament at the Africa Beach Games in Sal, Cape Verde, on June 21, 2019. PHOTO | NOCK |  

The final Kenyan teams are expected in batches today from the island of Sal, Cape Verde, where north African nations dominated the inaugural Africa Beach Games that ended on Sunday.

Morocco, Algeria and Tunisia claimed the first three positions on the final medals table with Kenya placing 14th in the games that attracted 46 countries.

Morocco had 16 medals (nine gold, three silver and four bronze) while Algeria had as many, but with an inferior gold medal count of five along with six silver and five bronze.

Kenya bagged one silver and two bronze medals with the former coming through Charles Yosei Mneria (one hour, five minutes and 24 seconds) who finished second to Uganda’s Robert Chemonges (1:04:48) in the half marathon.

Kenya’s first bronze medal came through the beach tennis doubles team of Fazal Khan and Ibrahim Yego who defeated Cape Verde’s David Dias and Gildo de Jesus in two straight sets (7-5, 7-5) in the play-off.

The gold went to Morocco’s Ghazouani Youssef/ Anass Boudouada who defeated the Mauritius pair of Fabrice Nayna and Etienne Fleurie 2-1 (4-6, 6-4, 6-3) in the final

Kenya minted the second bronze in the women’s beach volleyball where Gaudencia Makokha and Naomie Too defeated Cape Verde’s Janice Varella and Ludmilla Varella 2-0 (21-6, 21-11) after falling to Namibia’s losing finalists Kim Seeback and Julia Laggner in the semi-finals.

Morocco’s Nora Nezha Jihane Darrhar and Imane Zeroual took the gold by beating the Namibians 2-0 (21-18, 21-15).

Mozambique, Ghana and Morocco took the podium places, in that order, in men’s beach volleyball while Mali dominated the three-on-three basketball, winning the men’s title (14-13 over Algeria) and the women’s gold (20-9 over Togo).

Meanwhile, Senegal hammered Morocco 4-1 to win the men’s beach football gold medal with Nigeria settling for bronze with a 5-4 victory over hosts Cape Verde.

The athletes from 44 countries competed across 12 disciplines in the week-long games whose next edition will most probably be hosted by Morocco although a formal decision is awaited.

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