Kenyan schools will need to go back to the drawing board after relinquishing the overall title to Uganda during this year's East Africa Secondary School Games which ended on Saturday in Arusha, Tanzania.
Uganda, which has played second fiddle to Kenya in the last 17 editions, winning only one overall title, finally got their hands on the coveted prize after years of missing out. Coincidentally, their sole team triumph was back in 2014 when the games were held in the Tanzanian capital - Dare es Salaam.
Uganda won a total of 27 medals - 11 gold, nine silver and seven bronze - to pip Kenya, who also had the same number of total medals. However, the country's 10 gold, 11 silver and six bronze were not enough to see them defend their crown this time.
Rwanda were placed third after bagging two gold, two silver and six bronze for a final tally of 10 medals. Hosts Tanzania wound up in fourth spot with a total of five medals as Zanzibar and newcomers Malawi finished in fifth and sixth place with no medals.
Federation of East Africa Secondary School Sports Associations (FEASSSA) president Justus Mugisha termed the competition "a huge success" only blighted by the withdrawals of two member states.
Burundi and South Sudan failed to send teams to this year's games just like last year in Musanze, Rwanda, where Kenya, Uganda and the hosts were the only countries to field teams. Next year's edition will be held in Kakamega.
"It was a success and I thank all the federations -- from the participating countries for making it a success and we are looking ahead to have another wonderful event next year," said Mugisha as he officially closed the championship at the Sheikh Abeid Memorial Stadium on Saturday evening.
The shock loss of the girls' hockey crown to Uganda sealed Kenya's fate as Kakungulu Memorial saw off Kenya's St Cecilia Misikhu 2-1 in the final of this competition, which was this time played in pools as opposed to the usual round-robin format. Kenya has won gold since the discipline was introduced to the games in 2007.
Kenya however held on to the boys' crown as Friends School Kamusinga marked their return to the games in style, dethroning St Anthony's Boys Kitale. Kenya extended its dominance in rugby as Upper Hill and Kakamega High School reigned supreme in both the sevens and 15s, as well as claiming silver in both disciplines.
Basketball success once again eluded Kenya as Uganda won both the boys' and girls' title. Kenya did, however manage silver in the boys' affair courtesy of newcomers Dagoretti High School as Kaya Tiwi won bronze in the girls' event. The country surrendered the girls' football crown to Uganda as Kawempe Muslim Secondary School won gold as St Mary's Kitende won a record-extending 14th crown in the boys' final.
Girls' volleyball and handball were also Kenyan affairs as Kwanthanze led a 1-2-3 finish volleyball as Moi Girls Kamusinga and Kirandich finished in the top two positions in handball. The country was also successful in athletics, swimming and boys' table tennis.