GOLD COAST, Australia – Kenya had a bumpy ride away from track and field on day seven at the ongoing Gold Coast Commonwealth Games in Australia on Wednesday.
Sejal Thakkar and Brian Mutua were edged 3-2 by Sri Lankan duo of Jayasingha Mudiyanselage and Warusawithana Erandi in round 64 of table tennis mixed doubles staged at the historic Oxenford Studios Show Court.
Thakkar and Mutua narrowly lost (10-12,11-9,2-11,11-7 and 9-11) to the opponents who sailed into round 32 of the event.
Khaaliqa Nimji and Hardeep Reel found the going tough in squash pool C mixed doubles where they lost 2-0 (5-11 and 8-11) to Marlene West and Cameron Stafford of Cayman Islands.
This was the second match Nimji and Reel were losing in the group after they were beaten 2-0 by Tesni Evans and Peter Creed of Wales on Tuesday.
Christopher Saina shot 101 points and 11 vee-bulls to finish 24th out of 33 contestants in the Queen’s Prize Individual Shooting final that was won by Australian Jim Bailey who fired 105 points and 15 vee-bulls.
Cephas Kimwaki continued with his losing streak in Lawn Bowls men’s singles by going down 14-21 to Robert Paxton of England.
Kimwaki was defeated 21-10 by Shanon McIlroy of New Zealand and 21-5 by Arun Kumar of Fiji on Tuesday.
Kenya’s badminton champion, Victor Munga Odera, was eliminated in round 32 of men’s singles by Dennis Coke of Jamaica.
Coke won the crunch tie 2-0 (21-14 and 21-17) to book a berth in the round 16.
Odera was the country’s only hope in the category after Africa Games bronze medalist, Mercy Joseph, was forced to hand a walkover to Camille Allisen of Seychelles in women’s round 64 due to an ankle injury sustained in training on Monday.
“It was great representing the country. I started on well but the competition got tougher. I gave out my all but the best player won,“ Odera underlined after the match.
Odera hinted that the Club Games were his last duty for the national team he has served since 2003.
“My planned exit from the Kenya badminton team is meant to pave way for other young upcoming players to take charge and grow.
“It reaches a time when experienced players have to step aside to allow new blood to rule. I will be ready to offer them sound advices and motivational talks.
“Despite my intended departure from the national scene, I will not hang my boots as badminton is a recreational sport which has lots of health benefits,” he stressed.
Odera gives credit to badminton coach, the late James Omondi Warege, for having introduced him to the game in Kisumu in 1996.
“I never knew badminton will take me places, looking back I can confidently say it was the best decision I ever made in my life,” he concluded.