Kenya got a rude welcome at the Youth Olympic Games in men’s five-a-side hockey after being humiliated 7-0 by Australia in Buenos Aires on Sunday.
Kevin Lugalia’s charges soaked in goals from James Collins and Miles Davis, who sounded the boards twice each, with Lain Carr, Allistair Murray and Ben White contributing one a piece.
Lugalia attributed the humiliating loss to stage fright.
“We played well. We were punished on turnovers. The boys have to overcome stage fright. We remain positive that our next match will bring good tidings,” Kevin Lugalia said.
The team which which traveled to Buenos Aires Argentina had 20 athletes . The selected athletes were exclusively from those who participated in the African Youth Games which was held in Algiers ,Algeria from July 18-28. NOCK is the lone sponsor of the youth Olympic games pumped in Ksh. 35 million.
The squad consists of 10 athletes who are five boys and an equal number of girls , nine hockey players and one swimmer.
The hockey team which was humiliated in the opener has nine players :Ivan Morgan, Edson Isaac, Bryton Ndwati, Brian Nyabuto, Ian olando , Samuel Kimaru and Richard Njuki.
Kenya, which is making its debut in men’s five-a-side field hockey at the Youth Olympics, was unlucky not to get on the score sheet.
Richard Wanganga, Robinson Omutekete, Brian Nyabuti, Edson Ndombi and Bryton Ndwati had their shots saved by goalkeeper Starkie Chris.
The Kenyans will meet Canada on Monday, India (Tuesday), Bangladesh (Thursday) and Austria in other Pool ‘B’ matches.
India opened its campaign by thrashing neighbors Bangladesh 10-0, while Canada suffered a narrow 3-2 beating at the hands of Austria.
Pool ‘A’ comprises of Argentina, Malaysia, Mexico, Poland, Vanuatu and Zambia. Malaysia hit Vanuatu 14-0 as Poland ran out 6-3 winners against Mexico. Hosts Argentina hammered Africa’s other representative Zambia 6-2.
The top four teams from the two pools will advance to quarter-finals. Teams which will finish group stage action in fifth place will face off in a 9/10 place playoff. Bottom-ranked sides will clash in a classification match to decide number 11 and 12 (last).
Kenya is still hopeful to bag in more medals and make the country proud as the junior athletes are on the spotlight to raise the Kenyan flag high in the competition.
The athletic team consist of Fancy Cherono who won gold in girls 2000m steeplechsse and Dennis Mutuku Matheka who settled for thesilver in the boys competition in Algiers.
In the 1500m steeplechase men category , Nickson Pariken will participate alongside Edinah Jebitok.
Francis Leshoo and Angela Ndungwa will battle it out in boys and girls 800m with Jackson Kavesa and Mercy making the the 3000m team.
Maria Brunleher who is currently is the only female swimmer that is poised to participate in 100m women’s free style. Brunleher won two gold medals and silver in the African games .
At the previous Olympic Games held in Nanjing , Kenya claimed five medals ; two gold , an equal number of silver and bronze.
At this years Olympic they are keen to bag in more awards even with the poor opening game for the under dogs hockey team which is making its first debut, team Kenya are still optimistic to sweep more gold and other medals during this years Olympic in Argentina.