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East Africa Sports News

London Marathon: Kipchoge And Bekele Arrive On September 282 minutes read

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Olympic marathon champion Eliud Kipchoge and 10,000m world record holder Kenenisa Bekele will arrive in London today ahead of the London Marathon on October 4.

Defending champion Kipchoge departed the Eldoret International Airport at 8:15 pm on Sunday 27 September aboard a 56-seater Boeing 737-500 aircraft chartered by the race organizers. Also on the flight were Amsterdam Marathon champion Vincent Kipchumba, Rotterdam Marathon champion Marius Kipserem, 2016 Mumbai Marathon champion Gideon Kipketer and Benson Kipruto.

The women’s contingent team consists of marathon record holder and women’s race defending champion Brigid Kosgei, 2018 winner Vivian Cheruiyot, world marathon champion Ruth Chepng’etich, Frankfurt Marathon champion Valary Jemeli and debutant Edith Chelimo.

Technical teams and pacemakers were also included.

At the airport in Eldoret to bid the athletes farewell were Athletics Kenya President Jack Tuwei, Chief Administrative Secretary for Sports Hassan Noor Hassan and Central Rift Athletics Kenya chairman Abraham Mutai, among others.

Speaking ahead of their departure, Tuwei said he was confident that theathletes were well prepared.

“It’s an honour for you as athletes to be sent a plane by the race organisers and we know as a federation you have trained well despite the coronavirus challenge. We wish you well and we know you are going to defend your titles,” said Tuwei.

The plane will also stop over in Addis Ababa to pick up the Ethiopian contingent led by multiple world and Olympic distance running champion Kenenisa Bekele. Bekele will be accompanied by compatriots Mosinet Geremew and Mule Wasihun who placed second and third respectively at the 2019 race behind Kipchoge as well as the 2018 first runners up Shura Kitata.

The plane will then make a scheduled refueling stop in Athens, Greece, before making the final approach to London Stanstead Airport.

The race is being viewed by experts as a mouthwatering clash between two fierce rivals – Kenya and Ethiopia, and the main focus will be on the clash between Kipchoge and Bekele. The duo are the only men in history to run a marathon under two hours and two minutes – Kipchoge’s world record mark of 2:01.39 and Bekele’s 2:01.41.

The 40th edition of the race was initially planned for April 26 before it was postponed owing to Covid-19 pandemic and will thus be the first in history to have elites-only races.

Similarly, unlike in the previous editions where the race is held in the largely flat course around River Thames, this year’s event will take place on an enclosed looped course in St James’s Park in a secure biosphere.

East Africa Sports News

Harambee Stars defender Mandela joins Sundowns

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Brian Mandela joins Sundowns

Harambee Stars of Kenya defender Brian Mandela Onyango has joined South African Premier Soccer League (PSL) champions Mamelodi Sundowns.

Mandela was confirmed as a Sundwons player after signing a three-year deal with the Brazilians. Sundowns also have an option to extend the deal after the initial term expires.

“Brian Onyango has joined Mamelodi Sundowns on a three-year deal with a two-year option to extend,” Mamelodi confirmed on their official website.

“The centre-back comes with a wealth of international and local experience as he has played for Santos, the Team of Choice, and his national side. Onyango first moved to South Africa in 2012 to join the now ABC Motsepe based Santos.

“The Kenyan International joins Masandawana as a free agent, he last turned out for Maritzburg United.

“Welcome to Masandawana Brian Onyango.”

Mandela started his career with Posta Rangers in 2010, a year later, he made the move to 11-time Kenyan Premier League (KPL) champions Tusker FC where he played for two years, before his move to South Africa.

Mandela’s first club in South Africa was Santos, where he made 48 appearances, and scored three goals in three seasons.

He then made a move to Maritzburg United where he made 77 appearances. His contract with Maritzburg expired in 2019, and has been a free agent since then.

Mandela will be part of the Mamelodi Sundowns team for the new 2020/2021 season. The defending champions are currently second on the PSL table with four points from two games played so far this season.

The defender was part of the Harambee Stars side that beat Zambia 2-1 in an international friendly match played at the Nyayo Stadium. Mandela started at the center of the defense, but was later substituted for Wazito FC defender Johnstone Omurwa.

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East Africa Sports News

Uganda Coach McKinstry Names Home-Based Squad For AFCON Qualifier

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Uganda Coach Johnathan McKinstry

The Cranes of Uganda Coach Johnathan McKinstry has named home-based stars for their upcoming AFCON 2021 qualifier. He put out a list of 22 home-based stars from which five or six of the players will be considered to be with the main squad of 20 foreign based players he named last week.

McKinstry stated that the home-based team will go through rigorous training and assessment between 2nd and 8th of November, before he makes his final selection.

“As previously announced in addition to the squad of 20 foreign based players for the upcoming double header against South Sudan in the A, we would be looking to adding 5 or 6 Uganda Premier League players to the mix so that they can compete for places in the squad.” Uganda Coach Johnathan McKinstry stated.

“In order to give the local based players the best support, we will be running an advance camp between 2nd and 8th November. In addition to that, we shall be able to have some early arrivals of foreign based players to join this camp in Kampala.”

“The camp will also help the local based players to push their levels higher and hopefully get some minutes on the field against South Sudan.” McKinstry concluded.

Uganda will face South Sudan on November 12 at St Mary’s Stadium, Kitende before playing themselves again 4 days later in Nairobi.

Home-based Squad

Goalkeepers: Alionzi Nafian (URA FC), Lukwago Charles (KCCA FC), Mutakubwa Joel (Kyetume FC).

Defenders: Ndahiro Derrick (Sc Villa), Galiwango Disan (Vipers SC), Willa Paul (Vipers SC), Mandela Ashraf (URA), Iguma Denis (KCCA FC), Kato Samuel (KCCA FC), Juuko Murushid (Express FC), Lwaliwa Halid (Vipers SC), Mbowa Patrick (URA FC).

Midfielders: Mawejje Tony (Police FC), Kyeyune Saidi (URA FC), Kagimu Shafiq (URA FC), Watambala Kairm (Vipers SC), Owori David (Sc Villa), Anukani Bright (KCCA FC).

Forwards: Oriti Ibrahim (Vipers Sc), Karisa Milton (Vipers SC), Mukwala Stephen (URA FC), Ahebwa Brian (KCCA FC).

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East Africa Sports News

AFCON Qualifier: Mozambique Coach Confident Ahead Cameroon Game

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Mozambique’s football team coach, Luis Goncalves, is optimistic his boys will put up a good performance against the Indomitable Lions of Cameroon in their upcoming Africa Cup Of Nations (AFCON) qualifier next month.

Cameroon and Os Mambas of Mozambique play a double-header in November with the West African’s playing hosts on November 12 while travelling for the reverse fixture on November 16.

The Mambas of Mozambique are in Group F alongside Cameroon, Rwanda and Cape Verde.

Gonclaves said on Monday in Lagos on telephone that the international friendly matches his team played against Angola and Guinea Bissau would assist them to prepare for the AFCON qualifying double header against Cameroon.

“We have learnt lessons from the friendly matches. It was important for us to play the friendly matches after the COVID-19 break because Angola and Guinea Bissau are strong teams.

“We have analysed our performances and will make necessary corrections,’’ he said.

The Portuguese-born manager said it was too early to say if there would be changes in the team that would play against Cameroon.

“We have some injuries in the team. Our evaluation of the two international friendlies are important and that is key to determine if there will be changes.

“Whatever decision we take at the end, we will do our best when we meet Cameroon,’’ Goncalves said.

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