Rwanda-based ace in handball squad for Olympics qualifiers

Friday December 20 2019


Kenya national handball team players warm-up prior to a friendly match against Kenyatta University at Kaloleni grounds on December 7, 2019. PHOTO | SILA KIPLAGAT |  NATION MEDIA GROUP 

By Daily Nation

Kenya women’s handball coach Jack Ochieng has welcomed the presence of Rwanda-based goalkeeper Tyrus Omondi in the men's squad ahead of the January 15-25 Olympics Africa qualifiers in Tunisia.

Ochieng, who is holding brief for men's head coach Peter Mwathi, said Omondi's experience and exposure is what the national team needs as they seek to qualify for the Olympics for the first time. Omondi is attached to Rwanda Police.

Mwathi is away in Eldoret for Kenya Universities Sports Association (KUSA) Games with his club Strathmore University.

Omondi and Denmark-based Brian Mathews were drafted into the 26-man provisional squad that has been training for over three weeks at the Kaloleni grounds.

“We have been tightening all the loose ends even as we take a break today (Friday) for three days and resume training on Monday where we will break the camp until December 27," said Ochieng, who recently guided Nairobi Water Queens to defend their East and Central Africa Club Championships title in Kigali, Rwanda.

"We are aware we will be competing at a higher level. But while we know it will be a tall order to grasp the sole slot considering our opponents, we want to be among the top six nations as that will see us qualify for the 2021 World Championships to be staged in Egypt.”



Omondi will battle for a place in the team with Nicholas Ndochi (Black Mamba), Teddy Sidai (Strathmore University) and Victor Otuoma (National Cereals and Produce Board).

Kenya Defence Forces’ goalkeeper Nicholas Otieno is yet to report to the non-residential training and Ochieng said they will do without him.

Kenya are drawn in Pool 'A' alongside Egypt, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and Guinea.

Kenya begin their campaign against DRC on January 16 before they take on Egypt the following day. They will complete the pool match with a tie against Guinea a day later.

Pool ‘B’ has Angola, Nigeria, Libya and Gabon. Hosts Tunisia, Cameroon, Ivory Coast and Cape Verde are in Pool 'C' while Pool D has Morocco, Algeria, Congo and Zambia.