Brilliant game for Mike Okoth Origi in 1999

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This is a Belgian league match between Mike Origi’s KRC Genk and Sint Truiden during the 1999-2000 season. Mike Origi had a superb game scoring two goals, creating numerous chances one of which ended up in a goal.

In this match, Origi shows why for 10 years, he was a succesful professional plying his trade in a top tier European league. Something that is still rare today. Very few Kenyans have made it in Europe. It is especially difficult for attacking players. The only other Kenyan attacking player who succeeded in Europe was Dennis Oliech.

What makes it more amazing is that Mike Okoth started out as a goalkeeper. In fact when Iterio secondary won the national schools title in 1987, Okoth Origi was the goalkeeper. He transitioned to a striker after the 1988 season.


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Nairobi Floods 2015

In May of 2015, the city of Nairobi came to a standstill due to heavy and relentless rains that pounded the city. The rain cause massive floods that were exacerbated by the city’s poor drainage system and poor or non-existent urban planning.

Drivers abandoned their cars as they were engulfed or carried away by water. Houses were flooded by rushing water. Some schools closed. Workers were unable to get to work.


The South C neighbourhood was the worst hit, earning itself the nickname “South sea”

 


Minibuses in the South C neighbourhood submerged

 


A few intrepid drivers tried to drive through the floods

 


A few unlucky drivers who tried to drive through the floods never made it


Many drivers had to abandon their cars

 


Members of the public help bail out a stranded driver

 


This school bus belonging to Makini school, was stranded for 10 hours with students trapped inside.


A motorist who had to abandon his vehicle, struggles to make it across rushing waters


With many cars incapacitated, many commuters had to resort to rickshaws, locally known as Mkokoteni..


Nairobi’s Pangani neighbourhood

 


Many houses were flooded

 


On a lighter note, Drinking beer is Kenya’s national pastime and these revelers were not deterred by the floods.

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2015 NCAA roundup: Joel Awich

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Joel Awich is a Junior (3rd year) forward at Cal Poly (California Polytechnic State University). The 6’7″ Awich, is known for his athleticism. He is most effective when in transition, where he can use his foot-speed  and superlative leaping ability to finish fast breaks with a thunderous dunk.

In the 2014-2015 season, Awich was in the starting line-up for most games. His scoring average was 8.7 points per game, which is double what it was last season. Though not the tallest player on the team, Awich led his team in blocks with 1.3 blocks per game. This is largely thanks to his athletic ability. He was second on the team in rebounding with 6.1 rebounds per game.Awich played 29.3 minutes per game which was the second highest on the team.

Overall it was a dissapointing season for the Cal Poly Mustangs. They won 13 games and lost 16. Within their conference, they won 6 and lost 10.

 Joel Awich Video highlights for 2015


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NCAA 2015 roundup: Suzzy and Lizzy Dimba

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Suzzy and Lizzy Dimba are twin sisters who both play for the Abilene Christian University Wildcats.The  sisters, who both stand at 5’11” had very solid sophomore seasons (2014-2015). Both played pivotal at the forward position and helped steer the Wildcats to a 17 win, 12 loss season.

Suzzy Dimba


Suzzy Dimba was the second leading scorer for the ACU Wildcats with 11.6 points per game. She was also second in rebounding at 8.6 rebounds per game. She also led the team in assists with 2.6 per game, which is a testament to her passing ability.

But it was on the defensive end where Suzzy’s impact was felt. She led the team in steals with 2.6 per game and in blocked shots with 1.7 per game. She also led the team in defensive rebounds with 5.9 per game. Suzzy played 31 minutes per game which was the highest on the team.

She finished the season with 10 double-doubles to lift her career total to 21. Additionally, she finished in double figures in scoring 19 times and had a dozen games with 10 or more rebounds. She also led her team with three games of five or more steals, blocked three or more shots seven times, and tied for the team lead with four 5-assist games.

Just as impressive was the fact that she recorded or matched several individual single-game highs across a dozen categories this past season, including a 23-point game at Southeastern Louisiana and a 16-rebound effort at home vs. Lamar. She also tied the school’s single-game record with six blocks vs. Houston Baptist on Feb. 25.

She was voted to All-Southland Conference Women’s Basketball Third Team by the league’s head coaches and sports information directors.

Lizzy Dimba

Lizzy Dimba was equally outstanding. She was fourth in the team in scoring with 10.8 points per game. She was 3rd on the team in rebounds with 7.1 per game, third in steals with 1.5 per game and second in blocked shots with 0.6 per game. .

Her solid all round play was crucial in enabling the Wildcats to finish the season with a record of 17 wins and 12 losses

Background

The Dimba twins were born in Nairobi, and moved to Lubbock, Texas when they were five. While in high school they excelled in soccer, volleyball and basketball. They always played on the same team. They would have both been good enough to play volleyball at the collegiate level but they chose basketball. They had always dreamed of playing division 1 college basketball.

The Dimba twins refused to accept any offer from other universities when one or the other was recruited. ACU was the first school to recruit both of them, and gave them a full scholarship and a trip to Abilene as soon as possible. Their dream of playing division 1 college basketball came true


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Mike Friday saga proves that coaches do not grow on trees

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Back in 1987, coach German coach Reinhard Fabisch steered the Kenya national football team to the finals of the All African games. It was an impressive performance considering that in those days, national teams sent their full strength squads to the All African games. He would then steer Kenya to qualification of the 1988 Africa nations cup after a 16 year hiatus. Soon after this he was fired by the KFF. He was fired because he demanded that the KFF treat players better and pay their allowances on time. When he was fired, Harambee stars fans were livid. A KFF official at the time was reported to have remarked “Coaches come in dozens”.

This appears to be the same attitude that KRFU officials adopted when they hired Mike Friday in 2013 to coach the Kenya sevens team. Friday took over from former Kenya sevens player Mitch Ocholla who in turn had replaced Benjamin Ayimba.

Ayimba, though he registered some impressive results including a semi-final place at the 2009 world cup. But he was unable to get consistent results. Under Ocholla, the team regressed badly.

Friday was able to steer Kenya to 5th place in the 2012-2013 IRB standings after they had finished 12th in the previous year. But in a comical turn of events, Friday was fired by the KRFU board apparently even without the consent of chairman Mwangi Muthee. The ring leader of this coup was one Philip Jalango. It seemed that Kenya was shooting itself in the foot only weeks before the world cup. Luckily Muthee intervened and Friday returned to take Kenya to the world cup where they once again reached the semis. But by then Friday had had enough of KRFU intereference. He resigned.

Kenya then hired former South Africa coach Paul Treu. Under him Kenya recorded some excellent results but was once again plagued by inconsistency. Kenya finished 7th in the 2013-2014 IRB standings and Treu finally resigned citing problems at KRFU.

“I wanted to put in place structures to monitor how players responded in the first year then give it a crack in the second year but things have not worked well because of the challenges at the KRU board.

“It’s a shame, really, and I am very sad not to see my vision for the team reach the 2016 Olympic Games but I am grateful for the opportunity and will always be there for Kenya Sevens if need be,” explained Treu.

Then for the 2014-2015 series, it was once again a former player Felix Ochieng who took charge. Kenya recorded some good results in single games but was once again plagued by inconsistency. But this time the inconsistency was so bad that Kenya would play very well in one match then put on a listless performance in the next match within the same tournament. So listless was Kenya at times that they almost lost to Brazil at the London sevens.

Kenya ended up finishing the 2014-2015 season in 13th place, two places above the relegation zone. In fact Kenya were battling relegation throughout the season. Not once did Kenya contest for the plate final nor did they reach any cup semi-finals.

Mike Friday proves KRFU brass wrong

While Kenya struggled, former coach Mike Friday was steering USA to their best ever performance. USA finished 6th overall, but more importantly, won the London sevens in surprising fashion. Kenya has never won a leg of the IRB sevens.

Whereas USA welcomed Friday,  provided him with the support and flexibility he needed, Kenya did the exact opposite. One of the complaints from the KRFU brass was that Friday never lived in Kenya and refused to participate in training local coaches.

Such expectations are bogus. First off Friday has a family that lives in London so expecting him to live in Kenya  does not make sense. Secondly if KRFU wants to raise the standards of local coaches, they should hire someone to conduct regular seminars. Friday should be have been asked to have a laser like focus on the national team and not be distracted by other issues. But most importantly, USA rugby did not interfere with Friday’s work.

As with KFF in 1988, KRFU assumed Mike Friday was easily replaceable and they were proven wrong.

Disorganization and Infighting

Aside from that, all the infighting and agendas at KRFU has also hindered the top brass from being able to focus on the national teams. They have literally turned what was once a successful system into mediocrity. In fact sports minister Hassan Wario was appalled by KRFU. He remarked that KRFU was once the best run association in Kenya but is now at the same level of mediocrity as FKF and other associations.

Due to the disorganization, infighting and vendettas that caused both Friday and Treu to resign, KRFU is directly responsible for Kenya’s shoddy performance at the 2014-2015 series.

George Omwela, the new KRFU chair has his work cut out. There are two more important events left in 2015, One is the All Africa games in Congo which for the first time ever will feature rugby sevens. But even more importantly there are the Olympic qualifiers.

Kenya needs to get its act in order for them to succeed. Start by taking a keen look at the technical bench. It is indeed true that the current technical bench cannot be blamed for the poor results. KRFU shoulder most of the blame for that.

However a review is warranted. It is not clear if the current tenchnical bench can deliver consistent results. Kenya needs a technical bench that can deliver consistent results. Without this, Kenya Airways may withdraw their sponsorship as Safaricom already have.

Omwela must ensure that henceforth, the team is given support and is able to deliver without interference.

 

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Another milestone for Carvin Nkanata

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On Sunday May 17, Carvin Nkanata became the first Kenyan short sprinter to compete in the IAAF Diamond League, when he competed in the Shangai Diamond league meet. In the race which was highly competitive, he finished 6th in 20.58 but only 25 hundredths of a second behind the winner Alonzo Eduard of Panama.

“I am glad to compete in Shanghai as I prepare for the World Championships,” said Nkanata, who is glad in cruising to personal best and national record in April. The 2014 Africa 200m bronze medallist said being ahead of the fastest man in the world, Usain Bolt, gives him motivation. “It inspires me to work harder so I can keep my spot,” said Nkanata as he reflected on Kenya’s 4x200m disqualification at the World Relays.

“I wasn’t disappointed about a disqualification because it’s a part of the game,” explained Nkanata, who was in last year’s team that reached the final.

“We all had fun at the end of the day just getting the baton around and the experience was great.”

However, Nkanata, who turned 24 on May 9, advised Athletics Kenya (AK) to give more attention to sprints besides educating the local coaches on proper sprint mechanics and techniques.

“Having proper gymnasiums to develop strength and conditioning is paramount,” said Nkanata to the Daily Nation.

 


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Kiplagat, Sum, Birech win in Shangai Diamond League

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Eunice Sum wins women’s 800m

Sum who dominated this event in 2013 and 2014, picked up where she left off last season when she finished well ahead of the field in the women’s 800m race. She showed her intent early, trailing the rabbit closely before accelerating over the last 250m.

Compatriot and training partner Janeth Jepksogei trailed Sum closely until the last 100m, She finished 3rd.

Kiplagat wins 1500m as Kenyans take top 3 positions

It was a very close finish in the men’s 1500m. The rabbit took off at a very fast pace and only Nixon Chepseba tried to keep up with him. Silas Kiplagat and the rest of the field wisely stayed far behind. Kiplagat who topped the standings in this event last season, took the lead on the back stretch of the last lap. He was well ahead until the last 50m when the field started to close him down. He held on to win in 3:35.29. Hillary Ngetich and Collins Cheboi took 2nd and 3rd positions.

Birech blows the field away

If there has been any event that has been thoroughly dominated by one person in the past year or so, it is the 3000m steeplechase with Jairus Birech. And Birech was up to his usual dominant self when he finished 40 metres ahead of the rest of the field. And it was a strong field with runners like Paul Kipsiele Koech who finished second and Brimin Kipruto who finished 6th. Kenyans occupied the top 8 positions.

More good news for Kenya fans is that Conselus Kipruto finished 3rd. The 20 year old Kipruto looked very promising when he won the silver medal at the 2013 world athletics championships behind Ezekiel Kemboi. But he completely dissappeared in 2014 and there were fears that his career was dissipating. He has come back strongly and appears on his way back to the top.

The indefatigable Paul Kipsiele Koech is still going strong at age 32. He has been competing as a professional for 14 years and is still world class.


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La Response de Mario (Lyrics and Translation)

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The song La Réponse de Mario, released in 1987 was a sequel to the highly popular song Mario from 1985, also by Franco. The original Mario was a song in which the young man Mario is accused of avoiding women his own age and going after older women who are richer. In the end the older woman is fed up with the irresponsible Mario and tells him to leave her house.

La Réponse de Mario, the main subject Mario gives his side of the story saying that in fact it is the older richer woman who has been chasing after him and lavishing him with gifts, forcing him to be her lover and interfering in his studies by always asking Mario to come to her house.


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New sensation Virginia Nyambura wins steeplechase on Doha

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Virginia Nyambura. whom most track athletes had not heard of until today, shocked everyone by beating a strong field to win the 3000m steeplechase at the Doha Diamond League.

She beat Ethiopia’s Hiwot Ayalew who thoroughly dominated this event least season by only three hundreths of a second. In the process she clocked the fastest time of the season at 9:21.51.

The 22 year old Nyambura was a member of the distance medley team that won second place at 2015 world relays championships.

Race Video

It is indeed good news for Kenyans who have lacked a world beater in this event for two years ever. Milcah Chemos who was world champion in 2013 had an injury ravaged 2014 and will likely not return to her world beating form.

It was also the only good news for Kenyans at the Doha event. Asbel Kiprop who was expected to challenge for the 800m glory finished 5th in a race that was won by his rival Ayanleh Souleiman of Djibouti.

In the 3000m, Thomas Longosiwa was a distance 3rd behind surprise winner Hagos Gebrhiwet who soundly beat Mo Farah to second place.

 


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Coach Bobby Williamson shows a glimpse of his ability

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The Kenya U23 team under Bobby Williamson beat the Botswanan counterparts 4-1 in a 2016 Olympics qualifier. The one however was not enough as Kenya had lost the first leg 0-3. This happened thanks to shambolic travel arrangements by the FKF that saw the side arrive at Lobatse where the match was played at 3 am in the morning, only hours before the match. The resulting fatigue saw them concede three second half goals.

However in beating Botswana 4-1, Williamson proved that if given the tools, support and time to prepare a team, he is capable of taking the national team places. Kenya has not recorded such an emphatic win in recent years. In the past few years Kenyans are used to humiliating losses to teams like Lesotho and Burundi.

The 4-1 win is even more impressive when you realize that of the players Kenya fielded against Botswana, none are close to cracking the senior national team with the possible exception of Michael Olunga who scored a hat trick.

Victor Ndinya of Kenya tussles with Kagiso Dithebe of Botswana. Kenya won 4-1 but went out on away goals

When coach Bobby Williamson was coach of the Uganda national team, he accomplished a lot. Under him, Uganda qualified for the 2011 All Africa games where they put on a creditable performance drawing 0-0 with Cameroun and losing 1-2 to Senegal. En-route to the All Africa games, Uganda under had beaten Kenya 5-1 at Nyayo stadium.

In addition, Williamson twice took Uganda to the brink of qualifying for the Africa nations cup. On one occasion he was only the heroics of Kenya’s Arnold Origi that stifled Uganda. Also in 2013 and 2014, Williamson played the key role in enabling Gor Mahia win back to back league titles.

What this shows is that Williamson is a quite capable coach whom if given the right tools can take Kenya places. However the level of organization in Uganda is far higher than in Kenya. As Kenya prepare for the 2017 Africa nations qualifiers, it remains to be seen whether FKF will create an enabling environment for Williamson.


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