Nairobi — National Sevens team Shujaa dedicated their Africa 7s trophy and Olympic qualification to team member Patrick Odongo, who scored two tries in the final against South Africa.
The rookie lost his mum just before the team travelled to Zimbabwe for the tournament, and braved his mourning period to don the Kenyan jersey for the first time ever.
He did so with gusto and determination, playing a crucial role in the final with two tries in the 17-12 victory over the South Africans. He was also the top try scorer for Shujaa at the tournament, crossing over seven times in six matches.
"All Mama wished for was to see her son play for his country in the Kenyan jersey and her wishes have come true she being at a better place watching me make her and my country proud. Forever in my heart Mama I promise to make you proud," Odongo posted just before the opening match of the tournament in Harare.
And, after the win, the team, led by co captain Vincent Onyala, dedicated the victory to him.
"This victory is for our teammate Patrick Odongo," said Onyala.
The team later posted a message of support to the Daystar Falcons youngster Odongo, after the victory.
"We dedicate our victory at the Rugby Africa 7s and subsequent qualification to the Paris 2024 Olympics to the late Sophia Atieno Ogak, who passed away on Saturday 9 September 2023. She is the mother of our squad member, Patrick Odongo who showed great resolve in staying with the squad and playing a crucial role for us in sealing victory and Olympic qualification," Shujaa said in a statement.