As 2016 comes to a close and we usher in the New Year, sports lovers may want to reflect on the good, the bad and ugly of events of 2016.
This is The Nairobian’s 2016 Sports Report Card.
Rugby 7s Singapore win
In April, the Kenya Sevens team made history by beating Olympic gold medalists, Fiji, to captured her first HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series title. In the upset, Benjamin Ayimba’s boys beat the reigning Sevens Series champions Fiji 30-7 at the National Stadium. And yes, their names will be written in the annals of Kenyan history. It is worth remembering that this was only the third time Kenya had advanced to the Cup final of a leg of the Sevens Series.
Harambee Starlets in Afcon
Our girls made history by qualifying for the Africa Cup of Nations for the first time ever. The games ran from November 19 to December 3 in Cameroon.
The girls gave a good account of themselves, flooring major teams to qualify. Even though they may not have performed to expectation at the tournament, they nonetheless marked a major history in our footballing history.
Barding wins schools games
For 14 years since the East Africa Secondary Schools games were first held, it has been near-misses and countless heartaches for Kenyan boys’ football teams.
However, Barding, beat 12-time champions, St Mary’s Kitende of Uganda 1-0 in this year’s football final in Eldoret to lift the trophy for the first time ever.
Nigerian tactician Robinson Ofuokwo Ndubuisi broke the kola nut in January to usher in 2016. Ofuokwo who formerly coached Nairobi City Stars found himself fighting mosquitoes at Tassia Police Post in Embakasi for alleged fraud.
The former Gor Mahia goal poacher returned to Kenyan Premier League (KPL) after a failed mission abroad. The diminutive ‘Ssebo’ has stayed low like an envelope in the coastal city with Bandari without any significant display on the pitch to write home about.
RIP Kevin ‘Mangware’ Ouma
Footballer Kevin Ouma was one of the Kenyan Defence Forcers officers who died while on duty at El Ade Amisom camp in Somalia. His death in February was a blow to his team Ulinzi Stars and the entire football fraternity.
Legendary James Siang’a dies
Former Harambee Stars goalkeeper James Siang’a passed on after a long illness. The loss shook the entire football family. Siang’a’s demise completed a chapter of one of the most successful and celebrated Kenyan football stars.
Rugby twin deaths
First it was 20-year-old Nondescript RFC player Ogeto Gecheo who died at Aga Khan Hospital after he suffered spinal injury during a rugby match. His death brought sorrow to the whole country. A few days later, another player, Victor Wayodi of Mwamba RFC died while receiving treatment at Nairobi Women’s Hospital. Wayodi collapsed on the pitch during a match.