Eyes on the prize as Shujaa storm Gold Coast in style
The national rugby sevens team Shujaa hopes to take the superior form they are enjoying in the HSBC World Rugby Series into the Commonwealth Games, their assignment kicking off this weekend in Gold Coast, Australia.
The team landed safely in Gold Coast on Monday straight from the Hong Kong where they bagged a silver medal, a second successive one in the current campaign after the Vancouver series.
A contingent of 18 members led by head Coach Innocent Simiyu arrived in pomp and color at the games village, donned in their usual Red T-shirts, stealing the show momentarily as fans and athletes requested for ‘selfies’ with them.
However the team will have to adapt quickly to the mood and tempo of the games that kicked off over a week ago, a tough assignment awaiting them to qualify as the best team in their group.
Pooled in group C together with world powerhouses New Zealand, Canada and Africa Cup bronze medalists Zambia, Shujaa have no room for complacency in their quest to advance past the group stage.
Unlike the last two Commonwealth Games in Glasgow and New Delhi where the top two teams from each pool sailed to the quarters, the rules have changed and only top pool finishers will earn passage to the semis.
Shujaa will open their quest for a Commonwealth Gold on Saturday at 3:15am against Canada, before taking on a familiar foe New Zealand at 7:17 am. They will then shift focus on Zambia whom they tackle from 1:27 pm in their last pool ‘C’ game.
Simiyu’s charges are expected to hold light training session in the playing venues later in on Tuesday.