NAIROBI, Feb. 13 (Xinhua) — The Kenya badminton team will take part in the Uganda International Tournament later this month to start qualification for the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham in 2022.
The competition is the first of the nine tournaments needed to gather points for the 14 spots for the Commonwealth Games.
The target in Uganda for Kenya, which is participating as a national team for the first time, is at least a semifinal appearance in all categories, but the men’s doubles, where Kenya won a medal in the last edition, was canceled.
According to team captain John Wanyoike, the Uganda tournament comes at the right time since the players have been idle for almost a year.
“This particular tournament we have been training for since 2019. Our target is not just winning. We are eyeing on qualifying for the Commonwealth Games for the first time as a team of 10 players,” he said on Friday evening.
Badminton Kenya held two competitions this year where players were given experience in playing on rubber mats for the first time as well as shifting to feather shuttlecocks as opposed to the plastic shuttle corks they were using previously.
Head coach John Odhiambo said the players are in good shape, but the only challenge could be the preparation time for the tournament.
“The training time is so short. We have like a week and some days, but basically, we need a minimum of four weeks to prepare for such a tournament,” said head coach John Odhiambo.
The coaches are now working on accuracy and power. The rest is psychological to make the players mentally strong ahead of the Uganda tournament, he said.
The Uganda International Tournament will be held from February 25 to 28, in Kampala, Uganda. Enditem