Sejal through to Olympics qualifiers quarters

Sejal through to Olympics qualifiers quarters

Sejal through to Olympics qualifiers quarters

Sejal Thakkar of Kenya recovered from an initial straight sets blow at the hands of Sarah Hanffou of Cameroon to cruise through to the quarter finals of the on-going Rio 2016 Africa Olympic Qualifiers in Khartoum.

The Nairobi based mother of two had her campaign effectively sewn up upon racking up a 3-0 victory over Hussein Hayaa of Sudan in her last match of Group 2 .

Sejal wrapped up her preliminary campaign in second place to book a quarter finals ticket tomorrow against Algerian Lynda Loghraibi.

Loghraibi emerged the winner in Group 4 with her compatriot Laid Islem also making it though to the last eight of the event that will qualify two men and two women to the Rio summer games tomorrow.

Sejal was all smiles after victory: “I am chuffed by today’s outcome. The matches were really tight and I’m glad that I made it to the knockout stage despite losing the opening match to the Cameroonian,” Sejal said.

France based Peter Theuri played his heart out but kissed the Khartoum extravaganza goodbye after finishing third in Group 4. Theuri suffered two straight sets defeats to Adem Hman of Tunisia and Sami Kherolf of Algeria. He however picked himself up defeated Idris El MUlasim of Sudan 3-1.

Kenya’s veteran player Anthony Mathenge also lost two matches by straight sets, one to the crack Nigerian Toriola Segun and the other to Hussein Ahmed of Sudan. 
Segun who played in the 1987 4th All Africa Games in Nairobi is chasing Africa’s unprecedented seven Olympic Games appearance record. No African player has ever been to the Olympics seven times.

Earlier Mathenge chalked up maximum points when his Senegalese opponent Emmanuel Gboyah failed to show up for Group 1 opening match.

“Playing in the same group with Toriola wasn’t an easy task. All in all, it was not a bed of roses against the rest. The matches were really tough and as competitors we gave it our all. We are now pegging our hopes on Sejal in tomorrow’s matches,” said Mathenge who has played in quite a number of All Africa Games including the Abuja edition in 20013 and most recently in Congo Brazaville.

Despite handing Sudan’s Osman Kauthar a 3-1 blow, Della Njani of Kenya suffered two straight sets defeats to Laid Islem of Algeria and Safa Saidani of Tunisia. 
The Kenya team is being coached by George Kiringe and managed by Nairobi based journalist Samson Ateka. The team returns home on Thursday aboard an Ethiopian Airlines plane.

Read more on : Tennis


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