Former Kenya 7s star player Humphrey Kayange in action at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio De Janeiro,Brazil/photo/courtesy

Remembering Kenya 7s’ first Olympians


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Kenya 7s was among the teams that got a chance to feature in the 2016 Olympics following the re-inclusion of rugby.

Shujaa failed to live up to the expectations losing all their matches against Great Britain (31–7), New Zealand (28–5) Japan (31-7) in the pool stage. The poor run saw them fall to 14-12 to Spain in the ninth place playoffs and the lone win was against Brazil in 11th place playoffs.

As the World marks Olympic day, Scrummage.co.ke takes a look at players who represented Kenya 7s in the tournament and where they are currently.

Here are the 12 players who represented Kenya:

  1. Humphrey Kayange 

Tall went to the Olympics as the 0ldest Kenya player (aged 34). The St Peters Aluminus was also the most experienced player in the team having played 67 tournaments in the World 7s Series and scored 799 points for Shujaa before the event.

The former Kenya 7s skipper had been part of the team that successfully lobbied for Rugby 7s to be included in the Olympics and this went on to be his final major tournament as a rugby player. The former Mwamba and Ulinzi star would stay away from international rugby two months later and retired officially in 2018 after playing for Mwamba for two more years after the Olympics.

2. Andrew Amonde

Amonde captained the side heading to the tournament. The Kisumu Day Alumnus went to the event as the second oldest player (32 years) and had played in 48 tournaments scoring 170 points before the trip to Brazil.

The Burly forward dotted one try for Kenya in the Olympics. The KCB’s forward is still with the National team and he reclaimed the armband before the start of the 2019/20 World 7s series. Amonde who was reinstalled as captain after Oscar Ayodi, Oscar Ouma and Jacob Ojee got chances to captain the side is likely to be with the Shujaa till the Tokyo Olympics which have been pushed to 2021. He will be aged 37.

3. Collins Injera 

Injera went to the Olympics aged 29 but was the second most experienced player having played in 66 tournaments. The Speedster was and remains the top try and top points, scorer for Kenya in the World Series. The Vihiga High Alumnus went on score two tries for Kenya in the event.

He still with the Kenya 7s and he is in contention for the to the Tokyo Olympics. Another chance at the Olympics means he will head there as the most experienced player with over 80 tournaments and as Kenya’s highest scorer.

4. Biko Adema 

Adema went to the 2016 showpiece aged 28. He had enjoyed 53 caps with the side and only Emony Brothers (Injera and Kayange) had the most caps for Kenya than him. Adema had scored 702 points for Shujaa before the event.

In Brazil, the St Mary’s Alumnus scored four points for  Kenya. He has not been involved with the 7s side for two seasons. After 7s he played for Simbas as they finished second in the 2018 World Cup qualifiers and he is currently with his side Nondies.

5. Oscar Ouma

The Nakuru RFC man was 27 as he was picked to represent Kenya in the Olympics. His call up for the Olympics came at a time he had played 32 Tournaments in the World 7s Series and had scored 320 points.

After staying away in the 2018/19 season, Ouma is back in the 7s set up and he will also be chasing an Olympic slot. He will be aged 32 by the 2021 Olympics.

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6. Willy Ambaka  

The Dr Aggrey High School (Taita Taveta) Alumnus had appeared in 29 tournaments for Kenya and had scored 325 points in the Series for Shujaa heading to Brazil.

Ambaka who recently clocked 30 years is still in the Kenya 7s set up and he will join Injera, Amonde and Ouma on the list of senior players chasing a slot in the Tokyo Olympics squad.

7. Oscar Ayodi

The former Kenya 7s skipper was included in the 12 man squad for Rio at a time he was 26 years. Ayodi was the second Vihiga High School Alumnus in the team. He had featured in 26 tournaments for Shujaa and scored 180 points before the Olympics.

He has been not been actively involved in rugby for the past two seasons both at National and Club level.

8. Augustine Ligami 

Lugonzo had only played in 10 tournaments at the time Olympics came. The playmaker had age 24 then had scored 51 points before the event. Though the former Kakamega High ace has been overlooked in the past season by Kenya 7s selectors, he will be keen to head to Tokyo. Lugonzo is currently enjoying playtime with Kenya Cup side Homeboyz.

9. Dennis Ombachi 

Ombachi had played a key role in Kenya 7s Olympic qualification and made the final squad at a time he was enjoying a fine form. He had featured in 22 tournaments for Kenya and had scored 130 points.

The former Mwamba RFC man has not been in action this season with his last appearance for Kenya being in 2018/19 season under Paul Murunga. He is expected to be available for selection for Tokyo now that the Olympics have been postponed.

10.  Billy Odhiambo

Billy the Kid was among the youngest members of the squad. At 22 he had already played in 27 tournaments and he proved why he was worth to earn a place in the final squad in Rio. The Maseno school alumnus and 2012 KSSSA winner finished the Olympics as Kenya’s top performer.

Odhiambo ran five tries for Kenya to finish second on scorers list alongside Cecil Afrika and Josua Tuisova. Only Carlin Isles scored more tries (Six) than the former Strathmore man. Billy also became the first Kenyan to score a try in the Olympics with his lone try serving as a consolation in the 31-7 loss to Great Britain in the opener. Having returned to the set up he will be competing for a place in the Tokyo squad.

11. Bush Mwale 

He was the third Homeboyz player in the squad. Mwale was aged 22 and had featured in just 13 tournaments and scored 75 points before the Olympics chance came. He has remained a regular in the team and he will also be chasing a slot ahead of Tokyo trip.

12 Sammy Oliech

The fly-half was the youngest in the squad. He was aged 22 and had only played in six tournaments before the Olympics. The Impala star who had scored 99 points for Kenya ahead of the tournament managed only six points in the three-day event.

Oliech is working his way back into the team and he will also be in contention for a place in Tokyo squad.

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