Mary Keitany took 41 seconds off the women’s-only world record* at the Virgin Money London Marathon, running 2:17:01 at the IAAF Gold Label Road Race on Sunday (23).

Keitany said in the build-up to this year’s race she was in shape to break Paula Radcliffe’s mark of 2:17:42 and while she demurred when asked about the possibility of bettering Radcliffe’s outright mark of 2:15:25, Keitany was running minutes inside Radcliffe’s schedule in the first half.

Keitany was paced by her training partner Caroline Kipkirui, who she was full of praise.

“I want to thank the pacemaker who was taking me all the way to 14 miles,” said Keitany. “From there, I started to go alone and see how my body was.”

Comment

Resolution Impala Saracens II successfully defended their Eric Shirley crown with a 13-12 win over KCB II in the final played at the USIU Ground on Saturday 22 April 2017.

This match was a close contest through and through, the teams heading into the interval locked 0-0. Collins Wanjala’s unconverted try after the restart gave KCB II a 5-0 lead but Quinto Ongo’s two quick penalties saw Impala II go 6-5 up.

Vincent Onyala landed a converted try as KCB II went 12-6 up but a moment of indiscipline saw them crumble, conceding a penalty try that handed Impala II the win.

Comment

Rugby enthusiasts around the country have a reason to be happy as they can now look forward to this years’ National Sevens Circuit set to start from late July to early November this year.

The circuit is a series of sevens a side competition taking places in various towns and cities in the country. It also brings together passionate rugby fans to mingle, have fun and of course enjoy some rugby.

Rugby in the country has grown popularity due to the National Sevens Circuit and the success of the Shujaa on the world stage.

This years’ schedule is as follows:

July 22, 2017- Mombasa Driftwood

July 29, 2017- Kabeberi Sevens, Nairobi

Sept 2, 2017- Prinsloo, Nakuru

Sept 9, 2017- Homeboyz

Sept 23, 2017- Christie, Quins

Sept 30, 2017- Dala Sevens, Kisumu

Nov 5, 2017- Safaricom Sevens, Nairobi

 

 

Comment

Kenyan football governing bodies KPL and FKF have confirmed that SuperSport’s decision to pull out of the deal of broadcasting Kenyan Premier League will not be revised after the sports channel company categorically reiterated the decision. The South African company has been sponsoring the Kenyan League for almost ten years but recently decided to terminate its relationship with Kenyan football

FKF had tried negotiations to see if SuperSport will change their decision but according to capital fm, they confirmed that SuperSport is gone for good. ``Yes, we got a response from SuperSport and the long and short story of it is that they are not coming back,’’ asserted FKF Chief Executive Officer Robert Muthomi on Monday morning.

KPL CEO Jack Oguda backed Muthomi’s words, who also said that there are other suitors eyeing the broadcasting deal. `` It’s an unfortunate event for Kenyan football but that doesn’t mark the end of football in our country. In the late 2000s, we didn’t have a broadcast sponsor but we still played football. For us, it’s a big challenge but what we are working on is to try and value the product properly to get more partners on board.’’

SuperSport’s decision had other effects apart from the league, with several people becoming jobless and the clubs’ monthly grants are also set to be reduced.

Muthomi said that they will be holding a Joint Executive Committee (JEC) meeting and also an FKF National Executive meeting to discuss the way forward and also discuss on some interests that have arisen. Oguda on his part suggested that they are trying to move forward with the issue. ``Our main focus at the moment is to see that we are back on TV and we get a good deal from whoever partner will come in,’’ he said.

 

Comment

Joyciline Jepkosgei won the Gifu Seiryu Half Marathon on Sunday, breaking the course record of 1:08:55 set last year by her fellow country-mate Eunice Kirwa. She finished the race with a winning time of 1:07:44 to set a new record at the IAAF Gold Label Road Race.

Jepkosgei, who is the World half marathon record-holder, was determined from the start of the race, braking off the pack with only Belaynesh Oljira of Ethiopia behind him. By 20km, Oljira was quickly closing the gap between them but Jepkosgei proved too much for her, winning the race while Oljira came in second with a time of 1:08:19

In the men’s race, Alexander Mutiso won after facing very stiff competition from Macharia Ndirangu. The two, who live in Japan and run for Japanese corporate-sponsored track teams, were tied from the start of the race. The two were together at 20km in 58:00 and Ndirangu was the first to enter the stadium ahead of Mutiso, but Mutiso sprinted in the last 100 metres of the race to pass Ndirangu and finish first. The two athletes were recorded to have finished the race at the same time, both in 1:00:57 and that is the closest ever finish at the Gifu Seiryu Half Marathon.

 

Comment

Photo credit: Saddique Shaban

The Africa U20 Championship final was held on Sunday 23 April 2017 in Antananarivo Madagascar where Kenya U20 faced Namibia U20 with the latter emerging Champions having registered a 66-24 win.

Trailing 19-0 minutes in the first half, Chipu got on the scoreboard courtesy of flanker Stanley Isogol try with Henry Ayah adding the extras. Scoreboard then reading 19-7 to Namibia had Chipu attack the Namibia U20 resulting to another Kenya try through Victor Matiko with the conversion sailing wide. Moments to Half time, Namibia would extend their lead to 26-12.

Enter second half, Namibia got in two converted tries before Kenya bounced back with two tries by Stephen Keter and Charles Tendwa as Fullback Joshua Mwangi converted Tendwa's try. Namibia managed to drill in a try in between the two Kenyan tries as the scoreboard now read Chipu 24 - Namibia 47. Namibia's dominance saw them add 19 extra points bringing the score to 24-66 at full time.

Comment

English Premier League football clubs posted record revenues, but still a collective pre-tax loss of £110m (€131m/$141m) in the 2015-16 season, according to the latest figures from accountancy firm Deloitte.

Prokhorov set to sell significant stake in Brooklyn Nets

Brooklyn Nets owner Mikhail Prokhorov has revealed that he is looking to sell a 49-per-cent stake in the NBA basketball team.

LFP to introduce video refereeing for Ligue 1 play-off games

The French Football League (LFP) has announced that video refereeing technology will be utilised for the first time in senior domestic competition for this season's play-off games to determine promotion and relegation between Ligue 1 and Ligue 2.

World Series of Fighting rebrands as Professional Fighters League

The World Series of Fighting (WSOF) mixed martial arts promotion has been rebranded as the Professional Fighters League (PFL) and will begin staging events under its new guise from January 2018.

European Tour expands night golf concept with Hero backing

Indian motorcycle manufacturer Hero MotorCorp has extended its backing of the European Tour's night golf concept by a further three years, with the venture to feature at two new locations in 2017.

SeatGeek sets out primary ticketing ambitions with TopTix acquisition

Mobile-focused ticket platform SeatGeek has made a major move into the primary ticketing marketplace by acquiring Israeli ticketing software company TopTix for $56m (€52.5m).

Esports to receive medal status at Asian Games

The Olympic Council of Asia (OCA) has entered into a strategic partnership with the Alisports division of Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba that will lead to esports featuring as a medal competition at the 2022 edition of its showpiece multi-sport event, the Asian Games.

Creative Artists Agency and CMC team up to form CAA China

Sports and entertainment giant Creative Artists Agency has joined forces with CMC Capital Partners, a leading Chinese investor in the sports and entertainment sectors, in a move that will lead to the formation of CAA China.

Berlusconi finalises AC Milan sale

Former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi's holding company, Fininvest, on Thursday completed the sale of its 99.93-per-cent stake in Serie A football club AC Milan to Luxembourg-based Rossoneri Sport Investment Lux.

Victoria to bid for 2030 Commonwealth Games

The Australian state of Victoria has today (Thursday) launched a bid to stage the 2030 edition of the Commonwealth Games multi-sport event.

Supreme Court opens Paes probe

An investigation has been opened by Brazil's Supreme Court into Eduardo Paes, the former Mayor of Rio de Janeiro, into allegations of financial impropriety in relation to contracts associated with last year's Olympic Games.

Government backing secures Ryder Cup for Rome

Rome's staging of the 2022 Ryder Cup has been secured after the Italian government signed off on a financial guarantee for the golf showpiece, along with Cortina d'Ampezzo's hosting of the 2021 FIS Alpine Ski World Championships.

Comment

After a victorious weekend, AFC Leopards is back on the headlines for all the wrong reasons. Ingwe, started the season brightly and have shaken off a couple of off pitch issues to ensure they remain in contention for the title. One highlight before the 2017 season kickoff was the issue of kitting. Reliable sources informed Kenyanstar that the club officials were torn between different kit suppliers, with the club settling on a key supplier just days to the start of the new season.

Comment

Daniel Wanjiru held off the Ethiopian track legend Kenenisa Bekele in a thrilling finish to win his first London Marathon on Sunday(23) in 2:05:48 shortly after fellow Kenyan Mary Keitany won the women’s race in a world record.

The 24-year-old Kenyan made a break just before the 21-mile mark and battled hard over the last five miles to hold off the fast-finishing favourite Keneisa Bekele, who had fallen behind after suffering with blisters caused by ill-fitting shoes.

Bekele, won ran the world’s second fastest time in Berlin last September, was just six seconds behind with one mile to go, but he couldn’t quite close the gap and had to settle for the runner-up spot, eight seconds behind the winner.

The 2016 Amsterdam Marathon champion, Wanjiru didn’t beat his personal best time of 2:05:21 today but he did beat one of the greatest distance runners of all time.

“I’m really happy as it’s my biggest win at my first attempt at a World Marathon Majors race,” he said afterwards. “I’ve been preparing to win this race since Christmas so I’m very grateful that I achieved my goal.”

The men’s elite field was set on its way at 10:00 from Blackheath by Prince Harry and The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge on a perfect morning for marathon running.

A group of 10 east Africans quickly formed behind the three Kenyan pacemakers as the runners in the mass race streamed across the Start Line behind them.

Bekele immediately went to the front, tucked in behind the pacers, as if to signal that he would be the man to beat. He was joined by four of his countrymen, Feyisa Lilesa, Asefa Mengstu, Tsefay Abera and Tilahun Regassa, along with a trio of Kenyans, Wanjiru, Abel Kirui, the 2016 Chicago Marathon champion, and Bedan Karoki, making his debut at the 26.2-mile distance at the age of 26.

Ghirmay Ghebreslassie and Amanuel Mesel from Eritrea, and the Tanzanian runner, Alphonce Simbu, completed the 10.

The pacers took the group through 10K on world record pace at 28:51, the athletes making the most of the first few downhill miles, before the pace settled down to 4:45 miles, which suited Wanjiru perfectly.

“The pace was fast at the start but we all helped each other, rather than trying to destroy each other,” he said.

It was too much for Abera though, who fell back from the leading group just as the young world champion Ghebreslassie joined Bekele behind the pace makers at the front.

The remaining nine looked comfortable as they ticked off the miles through Deptford and Rotherhithe before crossing Tower Bridge and onto The Highway, passing half way in 61:40 – the perfect pace if they were to break Dennis Kimetto’s 2014 world record of 2:02:57.

The group of nine stretched out down the road with Lilesa – the Rio Olympic silver medallist – taking his turn on the front while Bekele, surprisingly, began to struggle.

“From 15K to 20K, I was getting blisters because my foot wasn’t in a good position in my shoe,” he explained later. “I changed my running style and that affected my pace and balance, which made my right hamstring sore and slowed me down.”

Bekele’s difficulties were far from the thoughts of the leaders, however, as the remaining eight strode through the twists and turns of the Isle of Dogs, now bathed in spring sunshine. At 25K, Bekele dropped out of the top 10, still in touch but looking uncomfortable, shaking his arms at his sides.

Ghebreslassie, Mengstu and Regassa also began to feel the early pace and they slipped back to leave four in the leading group. Wanjiru and Kirui were shoulder to shoulder at the front, with Lilesa a stride behind and Karoki fourth.

Ghebrslassie rejoined them at 30K as they clicked through that mark in 1:28:21, but the five didn’t stay together for long.

Lilesa cracked as they turned west along Poplar High Street, leaving four to battle it out for the three podium places. At least that’s how it looked.

Wanjiru put in a burst as they passed mile 21 in 1:40:01, pulling away from Kirui who was 10 metres ahead of Lilesa as they turned onto The Highway and past the colourful masses on the opposite side of the road, streaming east towards Canary Wharf.

Now Wanjiru was 20 metres ahead of his nearest rival and seemingly clear. But Bekele wasn’t done. The world record holder for 5000m and 10,000m pulled himself back into third, then passed Kirui to move into second.

It seemed only a matter of time before the Ethiopian would reel in the inexperienced Wanjiru, who couldn’t resist a glance behind to assess the threat.

“I looked behind at 39K and knew someone was coming, so that gave me renewed purpose,” said Wanjiru.

“I wasn’t scared when I saw Bekele behind me; if someone’s coming from behind you have to push on to win the race.”

And push on he did, keeping the gap between the two men to around 10 seconds as the pair battled it out, thrilling the crowds lining the Embankment.

As the pair past Big Ben, Wanjiru started to look more relaxed as he extended his lead over the chasing Bekele from eight seconds to 10 thanks to a 4:27 mile.

The crowds had just seen Kenya’s Mary Keitany set a new women-only world record, and they went wild again as the two leading men hit Birdcage Walk.

Bekele responded to Wanjiru’s surge, putting in a final effort to bring the gap between the two men down to six seconds, but the Ethiopian didn’t have enough in his legs to reel in the Kenyan. He started to rock and roll as he realised the London title was slipping out of his grasp.

As Wanjiru turned onto The Mall, the victory was his. He crossed the Finish Line, arms aloft, to become the 2017 Virgin Money London Marathon champion in 2:05:48, proving that mind over matter works for elite runners as well as the masses by holding off a man reputed to have one of the most devastating sprint finishes in the business.

“I am the happiest man in the world,” he said. “The fast pace at the start helped me enormously, and the rest of the race was just good for me. Everything went well, it was perfect.

“I’m looking to the future and hope to come back here to defend my title and do even better next year.”

Bekele’s second place effort of 2:05:57 was one better than his result here last year, and better than he could have hoped after his mid-race problems.

“I’m not too disappointed because anything can happen in a marathon,” he said. “I planned to run better than I did but I was 400m back at one point so to come back to the leaders wasn’t easy.

“I feel I have more good marathons in me and I plan to achieve more because that’s life: you do your best, you prepare well, try to achieve more, but sometimes it just doesn’t work out.”

In third place, Bedan Karoki made a great marathon debut, crossing the line 2:07:41, followed by Abel Kirui who finished in fourth in 2:07:45 to put three Kenyan men in the top four. Simbu came through to finish fifth in 2:09:10.

In the race for British World Championship selection, Josh Griffiths of Swansea Harriers delivered the shock of the day by finishing first Briton in 2:14:49 on his marathon debut.

The 23-year-old wasn’t even part of the elite field but his performance has earned him a place on the British team for the London World Championships in August.

Comment

Ethiopia’s Bonsa Dida and Kenya’s Elizabeth Rumokol won the men’s and women’s titles at the 40th Rock ’n’ Roll Madrid Marathon, crossing the line of the IAAF Gold Label Road Race in 2:10:16 and 2:33:55 respectively on Sunday (23).

In doing so, Dida put end to the Kenyan seven-year dominance of the men's race in Madrid.

Unlike the men’s event, the women’s race kicked off quite conservatively with eight women passing through the first 10km in 37:39.

Half way was reached in 1:17:39, effectively erasing any hope of breaking the course record of 2:32:04, for the leading six-woman group including Kenyans Elizabeth Rumokol, Diana Chepkemoi, Joan Kigen and Rodah Tanui plus the Ethiopian pair of Almaz Negede and Bedatu Hirpa.

But it was always the 34-year-old Rumokol who stayed closest to the pacemaker. After appearing to run comfortably throughout, she upped the pace in the final five kilometres to open a gap of a few hundred metres on her rivals.

Crossing the finish line in 2:33:55, Rumokol became the first victor of the Madrid Marathon to run the second half quicker than the first (1:17:39 and 1:16:16).

“I preferred to run relatively slow at the beginning because the race is full of ups and downs areas,” said a joyful Rumokol. “I wanted to face the closing section with energy and the plan paid off.”

Kigen finished second in 2:34:41 while Hirpa took third, almost one minute in arrears. The half marathon victors were Kenya’s Joseph Kiprono Kiptum (1:01:47) and Bahrain’s Tejitu Daba (1:11:29).

LEADING RESULTS

Men

1 Bonsa Dida (ETH) 2:10:16

2 Belete Mekonen (ETH) 2:13:04

3 Ronal Korir (KEN) 2:13:07

4 Nicholas Kipkemboi (KEN) 2:13:20

5 Geoffrey Kipkoech (KEN) 2:14:27

6 Stephen Kiplagat (KEN) 2:14:58

Women

1 Elizabeth Rumokol (KEN) 2:33:55

2 Joan Kigen (KEN) 2:34:41

3 Bedatu Hirpa (ETH) 2:34:47

4 Rodah Tanui (KEN) 2:36:03

5 Almaz Negede (ETH) 2:36:30

Comment

Kenyans Nancy Kiprop and Albert Korir took top honours in thrilling duels at the Vienna City Marathon, running 2:24:20 and 2:08:40 respectively at the IAAF Gold Label Road Race on Sunday (23).

Despite the unfavourable conditions with strong winds, Kiprop clocked the second-fastest women’s time in the history of the race after battling with fellow Kenyan Rebecca Chesir. The men’s race was even closer as Korir edged ahead of Ishmael Bushendich in the final 150 metres to win by two seconds.

With high winds, it soon became obvious that this would not be a day for record attempts. But instead two very competitive races developed. In fact never before has the Vienna City Marathon seen two such thrilling finishes in one race.

The women’s leading group contained six runners when they reached half way in 1:12:36. Ethiopians Shuko Genemo, Meseret Mengistu and Roza Dereje faced three Kenyans: Kiprop, Chesir and debutante Angela Tanui.

It was then when Mengistu, the fastest runner on the start list with a best of 2:23:26, fell off the pace. Having suffered a foot problem during her training for Vienna, she later dropped out.

Genemo and Tanui also struggled. At 30km, reached in 1:42:23, Dereje, Chesir and Kiprop were left in the lead. Dereje held on for another nine kilometres, but eventually had to settle for third.

It left Kiprop and Chesir out in front as they battled for the victory. 37-year-old Kiprop ultimately edged ahead with about 400 metres to go, crossing the line in 2:24:20 to secure her biggest career win to date.

“It was very windy and it was getting really close at the end,” said Kiprop after taking almost a minute off her personal best. “This was my greatest victory.”

Chesir crossed the line five seconds later in 2:24:25, while Dereje took third in 2:25:17. Genemo, the defending champion, finished fourth in 2:26:06.

A group of 15 runners, including three pacemakers who were trying to shield the other leaders from the wind, passed the half way mark in 1:04:13. With winds projected to reach up to 60 kilometres per hour, any result faster than 2:10 would have been regarded as an extraordinary achievement.

But somehow the wind calmed down as the men reached the final 12 kilometres. And after the lead group of 12 runners plus one pacemaker passed 30km in 1:31:38, the race was thrown wide open.

Suddenly just seven runners remained in the lead group, and then a few kilometres later Korir, Bushendich and Suleiman Simotwo broke away, turning the race for victory into an all-Kenyan affair. Deribe Robi of Ethiopia, one of the pre-race favourites, had lost contact while Kenya’s Eliud Kiptanui, who was the fastest on the start list with a best of 2:05:21, dropped out at this late stage of the race.

Bushendich and Korir ran shoulder to shoulder until they could see the finish line before Korir edged ahead to win in 2:08:40, taking 88 seconds off his PB. “It was cold and windy, but it was a great day for me,” said the 23-year-old.

Bushendich followed him across the line two seconds later, while Ezekiel Omulla completed an all-Kenyan podium by taking third in 2:09:10. Simotwo, who dropped back at 36km, eventually finished fifth in 2:10:36.

LEADING RESULTS

Men

1 Albert Korir (KEN) 2:08:40

2 Ishmael Bushendich (KEN) 2:08:42

3 Ezekiel Omullo (KEN) 2:09:10

4 Alfonce Kigen (KEN) 2:10:24

5 Suleiman Simotwo (KEN) 2:10:36

6 Regasa Mindaye (ETH) 2:10:51

Women

1 Nancy Kiprop (KEN) 2:24:20

2 Rebecca Chesir (KEN) 2:24:25

3 Roza Dereje (ETH) 2:25:17

4 Shuko Genemo (ETH) 2:26:06

5 Angela Tanui (KEN) 2:26:31

6 Helalia Johannes (NAM) 2:29:25

Comment

Kenya's Mary Keitany set a new world record to win the women's London Marathon as Daniel Wanjiru took victory in the men's race. Earlier, Britain's David Weir won a record seventh wheelchair title to clinch his first victory in London since 2012. Keitany broke Paula Radcliffe's 12-year women's only marathon record to post two hours 17 minutes and one second.

In the men's race Kenyan Wanjiru held off the challenge of Kenenisa Bekele, who holds the 5,000 metres and 10,000 metres world records as well as eight Olympic and world titles, to win.

It was the biggest victory of his career, having previously won the 2016 Amsterdam Marathon.

In the wheelchair race Weir clinched victory on Sunday in one hour 31 minutes and six seconds after a sprint finish to beat defending champion Marcel Hug by just a second.

Weir, taking part for an 18th consecutive year, won the Paris Marathon earlier this month and followed it with success in his home race.

Rafael Botello Jimenez was third after a dramatic finish on The Mall as Weir passed Tanni Grey-Thompson's six victories.

Six-time Paralympic champion Weir had hinted he was ready to postpone retirement to continue to focus on road racing after he walked away from Team GB following last year's disappointing Paralympics.

Soon after Weir's victory Keitany crossed the line, having broken away from the pack after just five kilometres.

She also set a new course record as she beat Radcliffe's previous women's only record of two hours 17 minutes and 42 seconds, set at the London Marathon in 2005.

Radcliffe still holds the women's world record of 2:15.25, set at the London Marathon in 2003 when she ran against men and women.

Keitany beat Ethiopia's Tirunesh Dibaba, who finished second, after Dibaba began to struggle on the Embankment, even stopping at one point as she appeared to clutch her stomach. Ethiopia's Aselefech Mergia finished third.

Alyson Dixon was the first British runner across the line, finishing 12th, to seal her spot in GB's squad for the summer's World Championships as five-time Olympian Jo Pavey dropped out after 16 miles.

In the women's wheelchair race Switzerland's Manuela Schar took the title for the first time.

Comment

Kenya’s Felix Kimutai and Nastassia Ivanova of Belarus were victorious at the Orlen Warsaw Marathon, achieving the first marathon triumphs of their careers at the IAAF Silver Label Road Race on Sunday (23).

On a chilly and breezy day, the course records were never under threat. Instead the men’s race turned into a war of attrition with Kimutai eventually shaking off the past of his challengers in the final few kilometres.

Led by pacemaker Josphat Leting, 11 men passed through the first 10 kilometres in 30:54. Eight men were still in the lead pack as they reached half way in 1:04:31, suggesting a finishing time within 2:10.

When Leting exited the race at 30km, which he passed in 1:32:28, just four men remained in the lead pack: defending champion Atur Kozlowski of Poland, Abdi Fufa of Ethiopia, and Kenya’s Alex Saekwo and Felix Kimutai.

Kimutai and Saekwo dropped Kozlowski and Fufa within the next few kilometres, going through 35km in 1:48:07. But Saekwo wasn’t able to stay with his compatriot for much longer and faded slightly in the closing few kilometres.

Kimutai, meanwhile, forged on ahead and crossed the line in 2:10:34. Saekwo held on to second place in 2:12:01 while Kozlowski took third in 2:12:38.

Jeffrey Eggleston, who has represented the USA at three World Championships, was 13th at 15km and ninth at 30km but finished strongly to take fourth place in 2:14:00.

Like men’s winner Kimutai, Nastassia Ivanova of Belarus had never before stood on the top step of the podium in a marathon. Since making her debut over the classic distance in 2011, she has achieved two runner-up finishes and two third-place finishes. But today the Olympian was able to savour marathon victory for the first time.

With no pacemaker for the women, a lead quintet of five emerged and they passed through 10km in 35:40. Having contested the Daegu Marathon just three weeks ago, Ukraine’s Olga Kotovska was the first of the early leaders to drift back, leaving Ivanova, Poland’s Izabela Trzaskalska, Ethiopia’s Muluhubt Tsega and Kenya’s Viola Yator to go through the half-way mark in 1:14:10.

The four women ran together and exchanged leads for another 15 kilometres. By 35km, Yator and Tsega had opened a 17-second gap on their east European rivals, but Ivanova had enough in reserve at the end to catch the lead duo and eventually overtake them.

The 34-year-old went on to win by more than a minute in 2:28:44, the second-best time of her career. Trzaskalska took second place in 2:29:56, taking almost six minutes off her PB, while Yator was third in 2:30:03.

Comment

When asked about his analysis of Gilbert Fiamenyo, AFC Leopards head coach Stewart Hall expressed his admiration for his side’s forward. ``That’s Gilbert….He’s injured, not 100% fit but he keeps playing and he does that thing for you where everybody thinks he’s going to cross it…he sees the goalkeeper come for the cross so he slides it in the near post.’’

When asked if he blames Katerrega for goal they conceded, this is what he said. "I do, I just told him…..we are overplayed here and lost possession here. But Katerrega played well today….he got one red-carded, made one goal and so he played very well.’’

Hall also said that losing players to injury at this time of the season is a concern to him. `` It is a concern because we’ve got one game on Wednesday and then another game on Sunday. I also think that Duncan, Otieno and Kamura were a bit leggy today because they played 90 minutes for Harambee Stars on Tuesday. You have to take all those things into account.’’

He also revealed that Kiongera is back in training for the Leopards. ``The good thing is he[Kiongera] started training last week, he did three or four days of rehab with the doctors and the fitness coach…..so I don’t think he will be ready for Wednesday but there is a 50-50 chance that he might play on Sunday

Comment

AFC Leopards bagged three points on sunday afternoon after a 2-1 win against Thika United at the Thika United Stadium.AFC were up in the 36th minute through Gilbert Fiamenyo, whose excellent dribbling skills left Thika United's defenders down and easily beat the keeper.

Ingwe were 2-0 up in the 61st minute, this time Whyvonne Isuza finding the back of the net. Salim Mzee reduced the deficit for the hosts late in the game but they were unable to find their way back into the game.The result takes AFC Leopard's point tally to 13,same as their rivals Gor Mahia

In Afraha, Ulinzi Stars mauled Mathare United 5-1 in a relatively one-sided match in what could be an indicator of things to come in the next few matches that Mathare will play without coach Francis Kimanzi who has been slapped with a six-match ban. Samuel Onyango opened the scoring spree for Ulinzi in the fifth minute, before Stephen Waruru scoring a brace to take the hosts 3-0 up.

Onyango got one for the Slum Boys in the 24th minute and the first half ended with that score line. Daniel Waweru's penalty and Enosh Ochieng's goal all but sealed the victory for Ulinzi Stars on matchday six of the Kenyan Premier League.

Comment

Matthew Owino Ottamax is one of the best goalkeepers to grace Kenyan soccer. His antics and reflexes between the goalposts while making crucial saves during his prime time while playing were the best memorable moments every soccer fan would cherish. Ottamax was also known for effectively commanding his defenders while in goal.

Comment

AFC Leopards head coach Stewart Hall has decried the state of the Thika Municipal stadium terming it 'unfair' to ask players to play in such a field. Hall was speaking shortly after his team collected maximum points with a 2-1 win against Thika United. 

"The pitch is a disgrace, I wouldn't keep goats on this pitch." Said Hall. "How can you ask players to play football on this pitch?" He posed.

 Hall went ahead to explain how his boys coped with the 'terrible pitch'.

"The pitch is terrible so you have to keep the ball in the air. It is not enjoyable for the players. i'm very disappointed. All you can do when you get on a pitch like this is fight. you have to get the ball to the opponents area and fight." He said.

Main stadia, Nyayo stadium and Moi Sports Center Kasarani were closed for renovation at the start of the the 2017 league season and they remain closed to-date forcing traditionally Nairobi based teams to opt for other stadia close to the city. KPL last week approved camp Toyoyo for premier league matches the first having been Sofapaka vs Kakamega Homeboyz.   

 

Comment

AFC Leopards coach Stewart Hall was in a happy mood after his team won 2-1 vs Thika United in Thika on Sunday Evening. He spoke about the match, the field, Gilbert Fiamenyo, Allan Katerrega and preparations for the next match. here is what he had to say ...

On the tactics that won the match ...

We started with 3-4-3, that wasn't working, I felt that Thika were on top so i changed to 3-5-2 and that worked better. We got an extra man in midfield and we got on top of them and scored a couple of goals from counter attacks. However one criticism i think we switched off a bit when they were reduced to 10 men. We probably thought its going to be easy but when you are reduced to ten men sometimes the team gets inspired because then everybody wants to fight. I think that happened for Thika today and credit to them because when they went to 10 men they fought harder and got a goal. I'm very disappointed that we conceded the goal. But overall I'm pleased with my players, in the way that we have approached the game and I'm happy we are enjoying a good spell currently. 

On Gilbert Fiamenyo and the goal...

That's him. He enjoys himself, he is not 100% fit but he keeps fighting and he's very intelligent. Everybody waits for the cross, including the goalkeeper but he just slides it in. 

On katerrega's role for Thika's goal...

Yes he takes the blame. We overplayed in our area and we lost possession and they scored so yes he takes his share of the blame but overall he played very well.  He assisted one goal and he got one of them red carded so i think he really played well katerrega.

On the fixtures... 

Yes it is a concern because we played today and we have another on Wednesday and a third one on Sunday so yes it is a big concern and i also think Duncan Otieno and Kamura were a bit leggy today because they played 90 minutes on Tuesday with the Harambee stars. 

On Ndung'u's clearance by FKF ...

It is very important for us that he has been cleared and is available. I nearly included him today but all our tactical training over the week he was not part of that because i didn't think he will be available to play that soon. But now that he's available he is definitely in contention for a place in the team.

On the next match Vs sofapaka ...

They are are an experienced side. I did sent my assistant to watch them yesterday when they were playing Homeboyz. He has submitted a full report which we will study and use it for our training.

On Kiongera...

He is very important for us. We would like to have him back and the good thing is that he started training on Monday, i don't think he'll be ready for Wednesday but he has a 50-50 chance of being available on Sunday.

On the teams performance so far...

I'm happy with them because they are fighting for me, whatever the circumstances they are fighting on. 

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Resolution Kisii have won the KRU Championship with a 25-10 win over Mombasa in the final played at the Kenyatta University on Saturday 22 April 2017.

Isaac Wafula would sneak in a 16th minute drop goal to give Kisii a 3-0 lead before Elvis Namusasi responded with a 33rd minute penalty from Elvis Namusasi. Amos Obae would land a try on the stroke of half time, Isaac Wafula converting for the 10-3 score at the break.

Obae would his land brace after the break, Wafula with the extras for a 17-3 score. Mombasa were soon reduced to 14 men,Benedict Wesonga binned for an offense. Namusasi would soon visit the bin, the coastal side paying the price for their indiscipline.

Wafula would drill home a penalty as Kisii led 20-3 before Ian Amara landed for a 25-3 score. Moses Litunya’s converted try at the death reduced the deficit for Mombasa.

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Gor Mahia and Tusker FC played out to a barren draw in round six of the Kenyan Premier League on Saturday at the Afraha Stadium.The game's intensity was low at the start but tempers started flaring up as the game progressed,with Harun Shakava and Hashim Sempala given yellow cards after an altercation on the pitch.

Chances then started presenting themselves, with Kenneth Muguna and Meddie Kagere missing chances for K'ogalo while James Situma and Allan Wanga failed to find the back of the net for the Brewers.

Tusker enjoyed a bigger share of the possession in the first half but were dealt a major blow after Hashim Sempala was shown a second yellow card and Tusker had to play with ten men for the remainder of the game.They were however able to hold on to the draw and went home with one deserved point.

In Machakos, Nakumatt FC thrashed Western Stima 2-0 to bag all three points at stake. Kepha Aswani gave Nakumatt the lead in the38th minute with a beautiful goal.Three minutes into the second half, Western Stima were awarded a penalty but failed to capitalize on it.Nakumatt captain Nzuki doubled his side's lead in the 61st minute to assure them three points.

Muhoroni Youth also registered a 2-0 win over Sony Sugar on Saturday.Robert Ouma and Bliss Kityo scored in the first half and that was enough to hand Muhoroni the victoty.In other matches,Zoo Kericho got their first point in top-flight football after condemning Nzoia United to a 1-1 draw.Sofapaka and Kakamega Homeboyz' match also ended in a draw, with no side finding the back of the net.

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Kenya Commercial Bank (KCB) were crowned Kenya Cup champions on Saturday afternoon after outplaying Kabras Sugar 36-8 at KCB Sports grounds lifting their second crown in three years.

Oliver Mang'eni and Darwin Mukidza starred in the win.

Oliver Mang'eni scored a try to make it 13-0 as Mukidza converted to stretch the score to 15-0 on 23 minutes. Wokorach scored a penalty for Kabras four minutes later to keep the Kakamega-based side in the match.

KCB put a grip on the match scoring in the last play of the first half through Darwin Mukidza who made the subsequent conversion stretching the score to 22-3 at the break.

A rejuvenated Kabras put KCB on the back foot in the first five minutes and scored a try courtesy of Wokorach on 46 minutes.

Peter Kara capitalised on defensive lapse to touch down for another try as Darwin converted to put the score at 29-8.

Mang'eni grabbed another try  with Mukidza converting the conversion to make the scores 36-8 and put the match beyond Kabras comeback.

KCB win sees the side bag 5 million shillings token the side had been promised by KCB CEO.

Kabras featuring in their third consecutive final, will feel hard done after they could not break the jinx against KCB.

KCB win today means they have five Kenya Cup titles in their cabinet.

 

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Nakumatt host Western Stima at the Kenyatta Stadium on Saturday in a must win match for both teams. Nakumatt will be looking to bounce back from to successive losses in the Premier League while Western Stima have started the season on a low note, picking only one win in their last five league games. Nakumatt are currently third last in the table, with Western Stima only two places above them.

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On Saturday, Posta Rangers will host Kariobangi Sharks at Afraha Stadium in a Kenyan Premier League match. Posta Rangers have not lost a match since the start of the season and will look to continue with that momentum. Kariobangi Sharks, on the other hand, have generated a winning momentum and will aim to sustain that.

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AFC Leopards CEO, Mr. Ronald Namai, has called for a two seasons ban from transfer business for arch rivals Gor-Mahia for their involvement in the Vincent Oburu Saga. 

Through a statement on the official club website www.afcleopards.co.ke, Mr. Namai indicated that AFC Leopards will not rest until justice is done. 

"It is clear that Gor Mahia went against the rules by tapping the player. We are therefore going to insist that the federation imposes a very stiff penalty on the club including banning them from player transfers for 2 seasons as has been done elsewhere." Said the statement in part. 

"Further, we expect such behavior to be penalized under the club licensing regulations. This behavior can only be equated to hooliganism which has to be clamped down heavily." Continues the statement. 

The CEO non the less expressed his satisfaction that the matter had finally been brought to rest. 

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AFC Leopards youngster, Vincent Oburu, will have to wait until June 2017 to play football. AFC Leopards have been told. Football Kenya Federation on 21st April upheld Oburu's suspension and de-registration until the June transfer window when he can register again. 

Oburu has been penalized for double signing with football giants Gor-Mahia and AFC Leopards engaging in tussle to acquire his services. AFC Leopards in a statement on their official website have blamed Gor-mahia for approaching Oburu against regulations and have demanded hefty penalties to Gor. 

Photo: Oburu on the left ... Courtesy of soka.co.ke 

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Gor Mahia will face Tusker for the second time this season after their 1-0 win over the brewers in the Kenya Super Cup finals. K’ogalo are currently on top of the league standings while KPL champions Tusker’s slow start to the season has placed them 15th on the log.

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Kenya Police will face second from last Parklands on Saturday in the men's premier match at 2pm in Parkland's city park stadium.

Police have a 100 percent record with three wins in three where as Parklands only have a draw after three matches that leaves them in 14th. A win for Police will see them move to the summit of the table.

But Before that the current leaders Green Sharks face KCAU at 12pm in the opening men's premier match. Sharks have 11 points after 6 games while KCAU are on 13th with 1 point having played only 2 games.

In the ladies' premier match MSC play their first game of the season against Sliders who are 5th with one win and one defeat.

In the National League "A" match Parkroad Tigers play Mombasa West at 6pm with both teams on 3 points though Mombasa West have a game in hand.

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Sofapaka have started the season very well, with three win from five matches and will be looking to ascertain their winning form after losing their previous game. They play on Saturday against Kakamega Homeboyz, who have only managed one win this campaign but are known to upset big teams in the league. The sides have met four times, each with one win and two draws.

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Sony Sugar travel to Muhoroni Stadium seeking to overcome a lackluster Muhoroni Youth in Saturday’s KPL fixture. Muhoroni Youth on the other hand will not give away the points easily, after a dismal start to the season, having only one win which positions them in second last of the Premier league table. The match between these two teams is however always one to look forward to, with only one win in their previous six meetings. The other five have all ended in a draw.

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Premier league new boys Nzoia United and Zoo Kericho face off in what is likely to be an enticing match. Since their introduction to the Kenyan Premier League, both teams have had contrasting fortunes, with Nzoia United currently placed at the top half of the table while Zoo Kericho are languishing in bottom place and are without a win.

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The much anticipated KCB Eldoret Rally 2017 edition is set to take place on the 13th of May. 

The Eldoret Rally has been one of Kenya's most prestigious National rally sport event over the years as it has seen many of the biggest names in the region go head to head in the beautiful rift valley terrain.

This years edition won't be any different as the back to back champion Tapio Laukkanen is set to defend his title against other legendary rally giants in the likes of Azar Anwar, Ian Duncan, Carl Tundo, Lee Rose just to name a few.

Laukkanen or better know as the "Flying Finn" made history as  the first foreign (Finnish) driver to win the Kenya National Rally Championship (KNRC) series last year and was also named the driver of the year 2016.

Other top drivers expected to enter the Eldoret rally include Baldev Chager, Emmanuel Kato, Riyaz Kurji, Farhaaz Khan and Jassi Chatthe.

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Oscar Simiyu has grown to become a key player for the KCB rugby team, who are in the finals of the Kenya Cup after beating SportPesa Quins 19-12 in the semifinals.

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Kenyan Premier League has joined the call  that has been made by several sports bodies and personalities to the government to reconsider their plans to tax betting firms.

A statement from the KPL CEO Jack Oguda reads,

"The Kenyan Premier League would like to petition the Government to re-evaluate its recent budgetary proposal to introduce a uniform 50% tax across board on betting, lottery, gaming and competition firms.

The Kenyan Premier League is one of the many sporting institutions in the country, which has benefited greatly from sponsorship by betting firms and if this industry struggles to meet their business targets, they will be forced to withdraw funding to sporting institutions.

Apart from Kenyan Premier League, four (4) other football clubs, namely AFC Leopards, Gor Mahia,Mathare United and Sofapaka, are sponsored by betting firms and through the funding the league and the clubs have been able to meet the cost of operations of the various aspects that the sports sector demands.

Clubs are able to meet Match day expenses (hiring of government owned sports facilities,ambulances, police officers, ball boys, ticket firms, as well as PR & Marketing firms, Match Day travel and accommodation, etc) as well as pay salaries and allowances of players, technical bench members, Referees, Match Commissioners, Stewards and other staff working directly or indirectly during the Match day events. From this alone it is clear that there are other industries which benefit from a vibrant sports industry which is currently anchored on the success and exponential growth of betting firms.

Collapse of betting will therefore not only lead to a collapse of the sports sector but also other industries which rely on sports for their revenue. The gains made by the sports sector on the back of sponsorship from betting firms will therefore be negated and reversing the retrogression will not be easy even with the creation of the National, Sports, Culture and Arts Fund.

The Kenyan Premier League is in support of Government initiatives which are aimed at promoting the sports sector but with the imminent shutdown of betting industry as a result of the new tax rule,chances are that the National, Sports, Culture and Arts Fund will have little capital to operate with as it will be funded by proceed from the betting, gaming, lottery, and competition industry. There will therefore be no guarantee that sporting institutions will continue to benefit from funding equivalent or surplus of what is already being offered if the National, Sports, Culture and Arts Fund will not be in a position to raise enough money to achieve its goals.

Engaging directly with betting firms gives sporting institutions an edge to negotiate for sponsorships on terms that will lead to growth of the industry at an individual level but with the National, Sports,Culture and Arts Fund, the case will be different as there will be hundreds of other entities which will be competing for funding from one source. With that outlined, it would therefore be of benefit if the betting firms are supported with policies that will lead to their continued growth rather than collapse for the sake of the future and prosperity of the sports sector. "

The sports industry has benefited immensely from betting firms' sponsorships and the recent announcement by the government to tax the businesses' 50% has ruffled feathers with experts warning that it could lead to withdrawal of sponsorships.

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Betting is arguably Kenya’s fastest growing industry and with it, comes a lot of things.

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The 13th edition of the DOZ Lodz Marathon on Sunday (23) will also be the third occasion that the race is part of the IAAF Silver Label Road Race series. A strong African-dominated field in the men's race, led by Kenya's Jafred Kipchumba, will be vying for the race’s first sub-2:10 performance in the history of the race. Agnieszka Mierzejewska of Poland will start as favourite among the women.

East African men have won five of the last six editions of the race, a streak likely to continue this year with Kenyans and Ethiopians dominating the elite field. The current course record, 2:10:02 set by Belachew Ameta four years ago, may come under threat as this year's race includes two men with much faster personal bests.

Heading the entry list is the 33 year old Kimpchumba. The highlight of his career was the victory in Eindhoven back in 2011 with 2:05:48. The Kenyan was also the winner in Milan in 2010 and the runner-up in Toronto the same year, with 2:09:15 and 2:08:10, respectively. More recently, he took second in Sevilla in 2015 and third in Barcelona in 2016, both with times just outside 2:10, a barrier he might challenge in Lodz. 

The most serious challenge to Kipchumba may come from his compatriot Samson Barmao. The 35-year old has bettered 2:10 six times in his career, including the 2:08:52 he ran to take second place in Rome in 2012. His only marathon victory came in Cologne in 2011, but he has finished in the top three in several races, including Eindhoven and Daegu. The race in Lodz will be his first marathon outing since taking fourth place in Warsaw in the autumn of 2014.

Another man with experience of running on Polish roads is the Etiopian Abdisa Sori, who finished eighth in the Orlen Warsaw Marathon two years ago in 2:10:04, a time which remains his best. His resume also includes two other races in the 2:10 range and two marathon victories, in Caen and Cannes.

Wosen Zeleke is another Ethiopian contender, and like his countryman, he set his personal best in the Polish capital, taking fourth place in the Warsaw Marathon in 2013 with 2:10:56.

Agnieszka Mierzejewska starts as the fastest athlete in the women's field. The 31-year old set her PB in the DOZ Lodz Marathon two years ago with 2:30:55 to take second place. Last year she repeated her runner-up finish in the race and took eighth place in Chicago, finishing just over 2:32 on both occasions. She also finished a creditable ninth in the half marathon at the European Championships. Mierzejewska's one marathon victory came at the Warsaw Marathon in 2012 and she appears in a good position to make it two.

The strongest opposition to the Pole may be Kenza Dahmani of Algeria. The 2016 Olympian also finished third in last year's Rome marathon in a time of 2:33:53. She is also an accomplished half marathon specialist with 1:11:28 to her name.

Another potential contender is Amelework Bosho of Ethiopia, whose fastest ever is 2:32:39 from Valencia in 2012. The 30-year old has won two marathons, in Treviso and Palermo, both in 2010.

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After five matches played in the Sportpesa Premier League, here's a look at who tops the assists charts.

Assists only counts when a player completes a pass to a teammate without the shot taking any deflection. It also counts as an assist when an on target shots spilled by goalkeepers and then the rebound scored by an attacking player, it is important to note that shots that hit the post count as off-target shots. It’s also an assist when a player wins a penalty or free-kick which is later scored by a teammate.

Bandari FC has three players leading in assists with 2 each; Shaban Keng’a, Musa Mudde and Anthony Wambani. Those three together with Michael Luvutsi have contributed to the 8 goals scored by Bandari translating to the superior goal difference of +6 that puts them above Sofapaka and AFC Leopards even though they all have 10 points.

Other players with 2 assists include;

Paul Odhiambo and Charles Okwemba (Sofapaka)

Willis Ouma (Chemelil Sugar FC)

Whyvonne Kinyangi Isuza (AFC Leopards)

Lawrence Juma (Nzoia Sugar FC)

Hubert Kopany (Western Stima)

Karim Nizigiyimana (Gor Mahia)

Cavin Odong’o (Kariobangi Sharks)

Daniel Waweru (Ulinzi Stars)

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