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Kenyans in mixed results at ITF tourney

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By LOKEDER NATIOM
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Kenyan players posted mixed results in the second round of the International Tennis Federation Juniors tourney that kicked off Thursday at the Nairobi club.

Ryan Ateto opened the boys’ singles matches by thrashing Iran’s Mani Parasarvesh 4-6, 6-1 (10-4), while Whycliffe Okenye lost 4-6, 4-6 to Paul Brunel of Cameroon.

In the girls’ singles, Angela Okutoyi dominated the court winning 7-6 (9) 6-0 against Miotisoa Rasendra of Madagascar, while Cynthia Wanjala lost 0-6, 1-6 to Burundi’s Aisha Niyonkuru.

The short, but stout 17-year-old Ateto easily took the lead in the match with strong serves and high fore hand stabs against Parsarvesh, who constantly responded to the attacks with his double handed backhand swings spicing up the two sets.

Iran’s Parsarvesh swiftly, but steadily challenged Ateto’s serves and stabs with immaculate speed and a strong fore hand enabling him win four of the games in the first set.

“I have never played my opponent before so I did not know what to expect and I was worried about being rusty, but I am happy I got through the second round because I am now more confident going forward,” said Ateto.

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However, round two matches started on a bad note for Kenya’s Okenye who painfully lost to Cameroon’s Brunel in an effortless two straight sets match that proved to be easy for the 18-year-old Brunel, ranked 1398 in the world.

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The 17-year-old Okenye suffered in the hands of the Cameroonian native as Brunel maintained his stamina on the court serving high and wide stabs that were a challenge for Okenye, who struggled with his fore hand stabs and weak serves throughout the match.

“At least I was more consistent with the balls but I did not move as fast as expected, giving him advantage but I have noted my errors and now aim to improve,” said Okenye.

The 15-year-old Kenya Open champion Okutoyi ranked 386 (Juniors) in the world played heartily against her opponent Rasendra in a short, but sweet two set match (three games each).

“The match was fairly good with my opponent put up a good fight challenging me to improve my serves to get a win,” said Okutoyi.

The heated match was characterised by Okutoyi’s strong fore hand prowess which worked in her favour swinging wide and low stabs that threw 13-year-old Rasendra off.

Cynthia Wanjala was both surprised and disappointed in her performance since she had started off well in the first round beating Croatia’s Kartarina Zuzul in straight sets of 2-6, 6-3, 6-3 on Monday.

Wanjala, ranked 2794 in the world, struggled with speed against her 17-year-old opponent Niyonkuru, who was fast on her feet and was consistent with her serves that had great spin and acceleration throughout the match.

“I honestly don’t know what happened today, I thought I had it but she seemed more prepared especially with her serves that continuously surprised me,” said Wanjala.

Niyonkuru, ranked 188 in the world, gave Wanjala a tough time on the court proving her prowess with immaculate speed and accuracy in her back hand stabs throwing off 14-year-old Wanjala.

Opening qualifying matches, which were set for last weekend, were cancelled and the organisers forced to skip to the next level of first round played on Monday due to fear of losing time with the courts being affected with the occasion downpour.

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Sewage Menace in Pipeline, Residents Cry For Help

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By Milo George

Residents of Pipeline Transami area are decrying poor drainage system that has caused sewage water to overflow in their area of residence.

The residents claim that the overflowing sewage is not only putting their lives at risk but also causing air pollution.

They have called on Nairobi Metropolitan Services and Nairobi City Water and Sewage Company to come on board and expand the sewer lines before more areas are flooded with raw human wastes coming from the blocked pipes.
“We want Major Badi and our leaders to resolve this menace immediately. It’s terrible many have been forced to shift their businesses because of the foul smell,” they said.
Pastor Joe Ndivoh of Word Evangelistic Explosion Ministries says that they have been forced to call off the Sunday School Service to protect the children from the smelly sewage.
‘‘We now fear that if prompt action is not taken then we will have a bigger health problem than this because we fear there could be an outbreak of water-borne disease anytime,’’ Pastor Ndivoh added.


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Solberg Jnr replaces Pierre-Louis for WRC Safari – KBC

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Hyundai Motorsport World Rally Team has made a change to it’s WRC2 team for Safari replacing Pierre-Louis Loubet with 19 year old Oliver Solberg.

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The change of crew hands young Solberg an opportunity to resume his family dream on the fabled Safari which was first held from 27 May to 1 June 1953 as the East African Coronation Safari in Kenya, Uganda and Tanganyika as a celebration of the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II.

Solberg Senior finished the WRC Safari 5th on the 1999 and 2000 editions driving a Ford Focus and navigated by his eventual Championship- winning navigator Phil Mills. In 200 and 2002, Petter retired on Safari after he lost a wheel and suffering engine gremlins on both occasions.

Oliver was forced to withdraw from last week’s Rally Italia Sardegna after his father, 2003 WRC champion Petter Solberg, tested positive for coronavirus.

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Oliver was gearing up for his second top flight World Rally Championship outing with Hyundai at last weekend’s s Italian event.

However having been in contact with his father, Oliver was compelled to remain in quarantine in a hotel in Porto for 14 days as per the FIA Appendix S regulations.

The FIA’s Appendix S COVID-19 protocol and national government regulations offer clear quarantine instructions for those in close contact.

“You can imagine, I am more than disappointed by this news. I am a little bit devastated,” The 19-year-old Solberg told www.motorsport.com last week.

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WRC Safari Rally Event Secretary Helen Shiri confirmed Oliver’s Safari participation saying: “Hyundai WRC 2 team car number 7 has changed the crew from Driver Pierre-Lous and co-driver Florian Haut-labourdette both from France to Oliver Solberg (Swedish) and  Co-driver Aaron Johnston (Ireland). The car, a Hyundai i20 Coupé, remains intact.”

Meanwhile, it’s been a meteoric rise for the son of world champion Petter.

Less than two years after his maiden rally in a four-wheel drive car, the teenage sensation was competing at the WRC’s top level.

Aged just 17, Oliver became the youngest winner of a European Championship rally in 2019.

With a father and a mother from a well-known Swedish motorsport family and a former Production WRC competitor in her own right, there was a sense of inevitability that a career at the wheel was inevitable for Oliver Solberg. 

Solberg’s early years were spent racing in crosskarts.

In 2012 he won the Norwegian Championship before a step up to a higher class brought consecutive title wins in 2014, 2015 and 2016.

In 2019 Solberg stepped into R5 machinery, driving a Volkswagen Polo GTI R5 in the Latvian/Estonian/Baltic Rally Championship. He took to the increased power immediately and racked up five class wins on his way to the championship title.

He also followed in his father’s footsteps to join Subaru Motorsports USA. He drove a latest-spec Impreza STI, winning three of the six rounds

After making his WRC debut at the 2019 Rally GB, Solberg stepped into a full WRC campaign in 2020, driving his own Polo R5 alongside a partial campaign with Skoda Motorsport.

The WRC returns to Africa for the first time since 2002. The Safari of old has evolved to fit the modern-day WRC, but its character remains with challenging closed dirt roads, stunning picture-postcard scenery and exotic wildlife.

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Three more suspected robbers arrested along Southern by-pass – KBC

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Three more suspects have been arrested in connection with the recent spate of robberies targeting motorists along the Southern by-pass.

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The three were arrested in Kibra by detectives based in Langata.

Their arrest follows a detailed analysis and investigations of the robberies, with detectives employing cyber and forensic analysis techniques to identify the beneficiaries of the crimes.

Boniface Winjira Unganyi, the proprietor of Basement Crew mobile shop within Lindi in Kibra, was arrested as the key suspect after a total of 102 mobile phones suspected to have been stolen from victims were recovered from his shop.

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Also arrested were 35-year-old Alex Mboya, who was found in possession of a victim’s phone, and a 16-year-old minor, studying at a secondary school in Langata.

Five other suspects have been arraigned in recent weeks in connection with the violent robberies.

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