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Lionesses Head Coach Felix Oloo has paid tribute to his side following their 10th place finish in the women’s rugby sevens competition at the Tokyo Olympics.
Speaking to the KRU from Tokyo, Oloo said, “The Olympic experience was brilliant for both the Lionesses and us on the technical bench. The importance of teamwork really played out very well…when people work together, things become very easy because we are all eyeing the same objective. I am really happy and thank my technical team for pulling together in one direction.”
He weighed in on having to deal with half the squad being put into isolation following close contact with a traveler who tested positive for COVID-19, saying, “It looked really nice to see the Lionesses playing…one couldn’t notice that half the team was in isolation prior to the tournament…only being released on the day of competition but still able to express themselves while executing what we had trained. You can only imagine what kind of performances we would have put up had the team been together for the entire 14 day camp.”
Singling out the entire playing unit for praise, Oloo said, “The players put in a big shift, they played really well. This is indeed the first time that we have more than two players scoring for Kenya. That we were able to play against the leading teams in the world and score in nearly every game is a huge positive. Our defense also worked very well even though there are a few details that still need to be worked on. We also greatly improved our kickoffs and we executed our plays very well. We showed that we were not in Tokyo to participate but rather to compete.”
The Lionesses improved on their 11th place showing from Rio in 2016, finishing 10th overall in Tokyo. They began their Pool A campaign with a 7-29 loss to eventual gold medalists New Zealand before going down 12-35 to the Russian Olympic Committee and 0-31 to Great Britain.
They would then dig deep to defeat hosts Japan 21-17 in their 9th place semifinal before falling to a 24-10 defeat to Canada in the 9th place final.
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Distributed by APO Group on behalf of Kenya Rugby Union (KRU).