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Kenya to host regional handball event

Saturday March 21 2020

Black Mamba's Sydney Omondi takes a shot on goal under pressure from Buccaneers' Sydney Mwethia and Francis Njoroge during their Kenya Handball Federation National League match at Kaloleni grounds on October 21, 2019. PHOTO | CHRIS OMOLLO |

Black Mamba's Sydney Omondi takes a shot on goal under pressure from Buccaneers' Sydney Mwethia and Francis Njoroge during their Kenya Handball Federation National League match at Kaloleni grounds on October 21, 2019. PHOTO | CHRIS OMOLLO |  NATION MEDIA GROUP

AGNES MAKHANDIA
By AGNES MAKHANDIA
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Kenya will host the 2020 men’s and women’s East and Central Africa Handball Club Championships set for November 1 to 9 in Nairobi.

The annual event brings together top clubs that participate in their countries' respective leagues.

Kenya last staged the event in 2016 at the Nyayo National Stadium, where Kenya Defence Forces (KDF) and Nairobi Water Queens won the titles.

During last year's event held at the Amahoro Stadium in Kigali, Kenya was represented by champions Nairobi Water, as the men’s teams failed to honour the competition due to financial constraints.

Kenya Handball Federation (KHF) National League men's champions, National Cereals and Produce Board (NCPB), Black Mamba and KDF were a no show in Rwanda, while Strathmore chose to participate in the Kenya University Sports Association (Kusa) games over the regional tourney.

NCPB women's team also gave the event a wide berth.

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KHF Fixtures Secretary, Charles Omondi, said they expect a better turn out, unlike last year’s event where only seven teams featured.

APR Rwanda, Muchimbi Rwanda, Rwanda Police and Nyuki from Zanzibar were the only clubs that participated in the men’s event, while the women’s version attracted Nairobi Water, Winners team from Rwanda and University of Rwanda.

“The higher the number of teams in any given championship, the better for the competition. Since we are the hosts, I know local clubs will take advantage of the opportunity and participate in the event.

In previous championships, we have had clubs from Uganda, Rwanda, Democratic Republic of Congo, Zanzibar, Tanzania, and this time Djibouti and Ethiopian clubs have shown interest of being part of the event and we are excited about the development," said Omondi.

Meanwhile, the International Handball Federation (IHF) has postponed the IHF Zone V Trophy for Africa that was set to take place in Ethiopia later this month and any other international event due to outbreak of the coronavirus.

Kenya was scheduled to take part in the event before the government banned athletes from traveling for international events due to the outbreak of the pandemic.

A statement from the international body read, “In light of the rapid development of the situation with the coronavirus, we would like to inform you that the IHF has decided to postpone the IHF Trophy Zone V for Africa scheduled to take place in Ethiopia.

In the moment, we are discussing possible new dates with the organizer in Ethiopia and in line with the international handball calendar. We will naturally keep you informed and officially announce the competition once dates have been defined."

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