Kenyans defy odds to star at African Games

Wednesday March 18 2020

The Kenyan skating team that finished third at the inaugural African Roller Games pose with their medals in Kinshasa on November 110, 2019. PHOTO | COURTESY


The Kenyan skating team finished third as the inaugural African Roller Games concluded in Kinshasa on Sunday.

The four-man team won a total of 13 medals – five gold, four silver and four bronze – during the eight-day championship, a result that was only bettered by Benin and hosts the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Benin won 22 gold, 15 silver and 12 bronze for a whopping haul of 49 medals. The DRC came second with 39 medals – seven gold, 15 silver and 17 bronze medals.

Teddy Andanje, who has been the fastest skater in the country since 2010, led the Kenyan medal hunt with two gold (senior men’s 200 metres and senior men’s one-lap circuit), three silver (senior men 500m, 1,000m, 100m) and one bronze medal in the senior men 10-kilometre points and elimination for a total of six medals.

Fifteen-year-old Jeff Mungai, who was the youngest team member, struck gold in the junior men 10km, and two bronze medals in the junior men 10km points and elimination and junior men 15km elimination.

Seventeen-year-old Tyrone Jowi bagged two gold medals in the junior men 100m and junior men 1-lap circuit while Ishmael Imani won silver in the junior men 1,000m and bronze in the junior men 1-lap circuit.

Andanje, who is a second year Environmental Science student at Egerton University, attributed the team’s good performance to a positive attitude and an unwavering determination.

“We faced many challenges but we wanted to prove ourselves worthy by giving it our best shot,” Andanje told Nation Sport from Kinshasa.

Throughout the tournament, the Kenyan team struggled for upkeep and participation in the games due to inadequate cash.

Andanje said, regardless, the team of four skaters is happy with its performance.

“Yes, we are very happy with our performance since Kenya has never won most of the medals we won here. We actually exceeded our expectations,” Andanje said.