Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology handball teams made light work of their opponents in the Kenya National Federation Tournament to clinch a thrilling double victory in the men and female categories in Malindi.
The teams, commonly known as Tigers and Tigress respectively, maintained their hot streak which saw them lift another cup double a week prior to the Malindi tournament in a competition hosted by Machakos University.
During the University’s Kenya National Federation Tournament opening fixture held on Saturday, July 17, 2021, both the Tigers and the Tigress delivered their statement of intent by smashing their opponents in a ruthless fashion. The Tigers who were pitted against Across the Bridge Handball Club (HC) won by a score line of 30-10, while the Tigress overwhelmed Mariakani HC by 13-9.
Both teams rocketed to the top of the table in their respective pools having won all their remaining pool games to proceed to the latter stages of the competition which was held Sunday, July 18, 2021.
Tigers strolled to victory in the quarterfinals by overpowering Tsangatsini HC 32-8, while their counterparts the Tigress, headed straight to the semi-finals with less female teams turning up for the tournament.
The highlight of the tournament was however, a highly anticipated semi-finals clash where Tigers were set to face Technical University of Mombasa (Saints) who are considered crème dela crème of handball by many in Malindi. The game did not disappoint.
As soon as the referee blew his whistle to signal kickoff, the action-packed game was lit up by skillful stepovers and amazing defending from both opponents. In the end, the Tigers scored two goals in extra time to win the battle of wits by 16-14. The Tigress on the other hand eased to the finals by a score line of 13-9, against Malindi Masters HC.
After the exit of the Saints, there was a sense of acceptance by everyone that JKUAT teams were clear favorites to lift both trophies. The Tigers prevailed against Malindi Masters in the finals by 33-26, while the Tigress thumped White House HC 19-10.
The Director of Sports and Games, Dr. Waweru Kamaku who led the teams to Malindi was jubilant after the victory saying the University has not only proved credentials as an academic giant but also as a sporting hub capable of competing at the highest level.
“I am not only motivated by the fact that we are top class leaders in academics, but also that we are now building strong teams that will be scrambling for trophies in East African University sports competitions,” said Dr. Kamaku.
Dr. Kamaku who is also a sports enthusiast and an accredited FIFA referee hailed the relentless fighting spirit and professionalism that the Tigers and the Tigress had shown in the tournament.
He urged students who are not participating in sports to start taking an interest adding that “it creates the necessary competitive mentality that are vital in the job market”.
The team leader of both Tigers and Tigress, Francis Njoroge, who is a Third Year Student Pursuing Bachelor of Science in Mathematics and Computer Science was in a bullish mood after the tournament saying they are ready to face other opponent thrown their way.
He pledged to continue pushing his team-mates to work even harder in order to further hone their skills and improve their competitive edge.
Njoroge thanked the University for providing an excellent platform for student’s talents to thrive alongside the academic aspects.
The tournament was jointly organized by Malindi Championship Handball Tournament and Kilifi Handball Association.