Five athletes qualify for Africa Youth Games as fiasco rock KJA


Masha is aiming to use the host advantage to enter all the 51 players he has ...
(File)Masha is aiming to use the host advantage to enter all the 51 players he has in camp in all categories to pick all available medals in the championship. PHOTO/Charity Wanja/Citizen.

In Summary

  • Five athletes have qualified for the third Africa Youth Games lined up for July 17-27 in Algiers, Algeria. However, the Kenya Judo Federation (KJA) says nine more athletes needs to qualify to complete the 14 slots available in Team Kenya.
  • Three girls – Easter Wanjiru, Elizabeth Ruguru, and Lydia Wangoi and two boys – Carlos Ochieng, Peter kariuki Kamau qualified for the Club Games in Algeria.
  • Despite all the efforts to set up a team, sports stakeholders are not happy with the federation accusing KJA of malice for allegedly using under-age players to get allowances from the Ministry of Sports.

Five athletes have qualified for the third Africa Youth Games lined up for July 17-27 in Algiers, Algeria. However, the Kenya Judo Federation (KJA) says nine more athletes needs to qualify to complete the 14 slots available in Team Kenya.

Speaking to Citizen Digital shortly after their arriving on Monday following an above average performance at the 2018 Africa Cadets and Junior/Youth Olympics qualifiers held in Bujumbura, Burundi from May 7-14, KJA vice chairman Duncan Chemiryo said only three girls – Easter Wanjiru, Elizabeth Ruguru, and Lydia Wangoi and two boys – Carlos Ochieng, Peter kariuki Kamau qualified for the Club Games in Algeria.

“We could have sent more players to Budurndi but it was a challenge to get travelling documents for nine players who remained behind. A contingent of 32 players including four officials who were going to do an international exam was supposed to travel for the qualifiers.

“If we could get at least 14 players; seven girls and seven boys, it would be great for us. We are going to find ways of how the remaining athletes will travel for the Youth Games but the challenge is how the Government is going to sponsor the qualifiers event.

“We shall come up with a budget of how and when the event will be held to ensure we send a bigger team by the end of the week,” said Chemiryo.

In Burundi, Team Kenya harvested five bronze medals from Ochieng and Kariuki who took the boys under 60 kilograms podium places while Runguru (U-63kg), Wanjiru (U- 52Kg) and Wangoi who participated in the U-57Kgs category — won a bronze in each.

“We are yet to know where and when the team will start their camp. We are waiting for the National Olympics Committee of Kenya for details. Funds have become a challenge; we were not able to prepare the team adequately for the qualifiers,” said Chemiryo, adding that “we just took them from their respective schools directly.”

The team will be coached by Joseph Mburu and assisted by Laurence Nyundo. Chemiryo added that the association is also planning for the Judo Commonwealth Games for the seniors scheduled for mid August in Taipei, India later this year.

Burundi Fiasco

Despite all the efforts to set up a team, sports stakeholders are not happy with the federation accusing KJA of malice for allegedly using under-age players to get allowances from the Ministry of Sports.

“Ooh! Sorry for him. What can only be done now is to immediately pay Sh.500, 000 for accommodation balance and we pay the players and the officials’ allowances then we start our journey back. The kids are in communication with their parents. They should not leave here until they get their allowances since they were not paid for last year’s November competition and I guarantee you they will not be paid in Nairobi,” said one official who sought anonymity, adding that the Judokas will soon be staging a demonstration in regards to the issues.

A reliable source revealed that the Burundian Federation wrote to KJA whose contingent had 18 players and officials demanding for an outstanding hotel bill of Sh 2.07 million incurred during their stay.

“We had initially held your team while awaiting our finalization of payments and clearance by contacting your embassy in Bujumbura but you didn’t pay.

“We however contacted Africa Judo Union organizers and authorized us to enter into a tripartite agreement for the arrears to be disbursed in our Federation account as indicated in the official invitation of the championship latest by May 25 failure to which we shall inform AJU for further action against your federation,” said the Burundi federation in a letter  dated May 19 and signed by vice president Chemiryo, his secretary general John Mwadime and Joseph Mwadime, the National Sports Director.

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