Recce Nairobi narrowly edged out Mountain 7-6 in a tight men’s final played at Rainbow Grounds in Otonglo, Kisumu as Recce Queens also from Nairobi saw off Migingo 12-11 to emerge as winners in the third edition of the Western region annual tournament.
Speaking after the win, Recce Nairobi captain Sammy Mulira said consistency and determination amongst their team played a key role in their triumph at the lakeside city.
Mulira said they did not expect to win the tournament with the vast talent wealth showcased y their opponents.
“It was a very tough tournament especially coming in the wake of a pandemic that saw most players being dormant for many months but the talent was there. We played hard and intelligently and even though we didn’t picture winning it we are happy to emerge top,” he said.
His Queens counterpart Alexina Ambani, who also doubles as the Kenya national women’s handball captain appreciated the team work of her teammates and urged upcoming players to keep training hard.
“It was beautiful playing after a long time out and I appreciate my teammates for fighting till the end. I urge young players especially from the grassroots levels to keep working hard and fighting every day for success comes with determination,” she said.
Recce Nairobi defeated Ruaraka and Assassins 14-12 and 17-14 in the quarters and semifinals respectively to reach the finals as Recce Queens defeated Masaku Legends 7-5 in the semis to reach the finals.
Tournament Director Robert Ojwang thanked all teams for showing up and promised even a bigger handball event next year.
“The tournament was a success despite the pandemic which has disrupted sporting events globally. It was good to see players give their best in the field once more and reating a platform for local talents to express themselves,” he said.
“Next year we are planning for better things and I hope we will attract a larger number than this year as we seek to promote the sport in the vast Western and Nyanza region.”
The tournament, which was organized under strict Covid-19 protocols, had attracted over 27 teams across and outside the county.
Last year’s defending champion Kisumu Saints were eliminated in the quarterfinals after losing to eventual finalists Mountain 18-8 as ladies defending champions MMUST Ladies did not register for the event.
1. MIGINGO 13- 8 SIGA
2. RECCE QUEENS 07- 05 MASAKU LEGENDS
1. TKNP 07 – 18 MOUNTAIN
2. ASSASSIN 14 -17 RECCE NAIROBI
RECCE QUEENS 12-11 MIGINGO
RECCE NAIROBI 07-06 MOUNTAIN