Sport

Team Kenya in South Africa for Commonwealth Games qualifiers

Team Kenya in South Africa for Commonwealth Games qualifiers

A section of the Kenya wheelchair basketball players pose for photos at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) in Nairobi on October 6, 2021 moments before jetting out of the country for South Africa. The team is taking part in the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games qualifiers.

Photo credit: Pool |

Kenya's men and women national wheelchair basketball teams hope to conquer Africa in the 3x3 Wheelchair Basketball Championships that started Thursday in Johannesburg, South Africa.

Ten countries, which include hosts South Africa, are taking part in the competition, which will come to an end on October 11.

The winner of the men and women’s categories will qualify for the 2022 Birmingham Commonwealth Games.

Uganda, Rwanda, Ghana, Nigeria, Angola, Namibia, Zimbabwe and Zambia are the other countries taking part in the qualifiers being staged at the Vodacom Mandeville Indoor Sports Arena, Johannesburg.

Kenya, who are the East Africa champions in both men and women’s categories, jetted out of the country for the games on Wednesday night, arriving in Johannesburg early Thursday morning.

The contingent of 15, who include eight players (four men and four women) is headed by the Kenya Wheelchair Basketball Federation (KWBF) president Alfred Simiyu.

Simiyu doubles up as the vice president of the International Wheelchair Basketball Federation (IWBF), Eastern region. Veteran tactician Andrew Kihumba is the head coach.

The teams will learn their opponents later on Thursday after the event's opening ceremony.

“We have prepared well and so the team is in high spirits. We are looking forward to good results here,” said Kihumba.

The team started their preparations at Nyayo National Stadium in January 2020 until March when Covid-19 pandemic struck.

They then resumed training in June when sports activities were allowed back in the country.

In the 3x3 wheelchair basketball, each team fields only three players on a half court and only one substitution is allowed.