Kenya Lionesses Fall to New Zealand in Sevens Opener

In Tokyo

Kenya Lionesses opened their Tokyo Olympics account with a 29-7 loss to New Zealand in their Pool 'A' rugby sevens match at the National Stadium here Thursday.

The women's team were rocked early on as New Zealand started brightly for a 17-0 lead, but the Kenyan ladies eventually settled and Christabel Lindo landed in try as Grace Adhiambo converted to reduce the deficit at 17-7 going into the break.

However, the Kenyans could not build on the momentum in the second half as New Zealand pulled clear with two more tries and a conversion to run out comfortable winners.

Kenya will be back on the pitch at 1pm to take on Russia in their second match. Russia narrowly lost 12-14 to Birtain in their first match.

The Lionesses have endured great test of character, mental torture for no fault of their own.

Strict Covid-19 control regulations here stipulate that anyone in close proximity of a Covid-19 positive case be quarantined for 14 days.

Now, when the second batch of the Lionesses squad landed in Tokyo, they had no idea that a passenger in their flight was positive.

The six players were subsequently quarantined in Tokyo and couldn't link up with their seven teammates at Team Kenya's Kurume City pre-Games camp.

Images of the six, led by assistant captain Sheila Chanjira, training in hotel corridors and in their rooms to stay fit went viral.

Besides Chanjira, team manager Camilyne Oyuayo and strength and conditioning coach Samuel Kimothi, others in the squad are Diana Awino, Vivian Akumu, Leah Wambui, Judith Auma and Stella Nelima.

The team in Kurume had head coach Felix Oloo and seven players, namely Philadelphia Olando (captain), Cynthia Camilla, Christabel Lindo, Grace Adhiambo, Sinaida Aura, Janet Okello and Sarah Bridgid Oluche.

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