Kenya eyes karate gold at Africa Games

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NAIROBI, Aug. 8 (Xinhua) -- Kenya karate coach John Owiti said here Thursday that it is time for Kenya to shine at the Africa Games set to run from August 19-31 in Rabat, Morocco.

Karate has for long been underrated among the national sports in Kenya and the exponents have had limited exposure over the years.

However, 10 Kenyan players are on a course to change the narrative.

"Karate has limited entries to Africa Games because the Kenyan team has previously performed dismally," said Owiti. "We want to change that and prove our critics wrong."

For all their efforts, Kenya has only one bronze medal to show from the Maputo 2011 Africa Games.

Now, team captain David Kimani believes his charges have the capacity to ruffle feathers at the continental level before the Olympics and World championships.

"Our target is to secure the first gold medal for Kenya from karate. There is a lot of potential in this country, we have the facilities and coaches, what has been lacking is the exposure and competition like the Africa Games offer much more than the medals," said Kimani.

Kenya will field 10 karatekas - six men and four women - out of the provisional team of 48 that have been camping in Nairobi for training. A total of 290 athletes will represent Kenya in 22 different disciplines.

Kenya will have to battle for its spot against strong challenge from giants Algeria, Egypt, Congo, Senegal, Cameroon and South Africa who topped the medal standings in Congo Brazzaville four years ago. Enditem

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