The dream of securing a spot for the 2025 World Men's Handball Championship dims for Kenya's national men's handball team, as they find themselves out of contention for one of the five coveted places reserved for African teams. The setback follows their unsuccessful run in Group D at the ongoing Africa Senior Cup of Nations tournament in Cairo, Egypt.
Now positioned for the ninth-place playoff matches, the team is gearing up for their first clash on January 23 at 7 pm EAT against Cameroon. Eager to secure their maiden victory in this year's championship, the East Africans are set to face a formidable opponent in the upcoming fixture.
Kenya navigated through a challenging group stage alongside ten-time champions Tunisia, former bronze medalists Angola, and Nigeria. The team, under the guidance of coach Peter Mwathi, began their campaign with a tough 59-18 loss to Tunisia, followed by a 48-20 defeat to Angola and a final setback of 32-23 against Nigeria.
The Kenyan national team now faces the daunting task of challenging Cameroon, a side that boasts 18 appearances in the continental competition, with their most notable achievement being a silver finish in 1974.
Cameroon, part of Group B alongside hosts Egypt, Guinea, and Congo, secured a victory against Congo with a 25-21 outcome. However, they faced defeats against Guinea (23-19) and hosts Egypt (35-16), ultimately finishing third in their group.
As the classification matches unfold, the main quarterfinals showcase compelling matchups, including a highly anticipated clash between 2022 runners-up Cape Verde and reigning bronze medalists Morocco. The North Africans will be seeking redemption after their 23-19 loss to the Islanders in the 2022 edition's semifinals.
Other quarterfinal matches feature Algeria against DR Congo, hosts and defending champions Egypt taking on Angola, and Tunisia facing off against Guinea in the final clash of the 2024 edition's quarters.
Mark your calendars for the semifinals on January 25, with the grand finale set to unfold on January 27. The handball action intensifies as teams vie for supremacy in this thrilling competition.