Shujaa Captain Omondi Grateful For Second Chance Ahead Of Olympics Debut In Paris

Shujaa co-captain Antony Omondi (second left ) during Team Kenya’s partnership with CFAO Mobility Kenya ahead of the Paris 2024 Olympics. PHOTO/ NOCK

NAIROBI, Kenya- When Antony Omondi was dropped from the Kenya Rugby 7s squad Shujaa a few days before the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, he felt his world had come to an end.

He was dejected and frustrated because playing at the Olympics was his ultimate dream, but he did not give up. He rose, dusted himself and hit the ground running!

Fast forward, the scintillating half back is now not only causing ripples in the same team, but has risen to the position of Co-captain alongside blazing Vincent Onyala.

The excited duo will skipper Shujaa at the Paris 2024 Olympics to be held in France next month. To Omondi, being in the squad that will ply trade at the Olympics is a dream come true.

“It’s like getting a second chance from God, I’m out to make every moment count in Paris,” Omondi told

“I was there when we were preparing for the Tokyo Olympics, unfortunately things did not go my way. It hurt when I was dropped,” he recalls.

“Sometimes, you work very hard as a player, you give your best in training but things just do not go your way, they don’t turn up the way they are supposed to be.

“My advice to players is that getting dropped does not mean you are a bad athlete or that you do not qualify, it just gives you the time and space to prepare more and be a better player. Just take the whole process as a lesson, work your way up, it’s frustrating but as a sportsman you have to be resilient in order to progress in this industry,” he stated.

Ahead of his Olympics debut in Paris, Omondi is meticulously approaching every training detail at their Kasarani camp base in Nairobi like a final. He is leaving no stone unturned.

“This Olympics is very special to me and my family, I’m focused to make the best of it, my ultimate goal is to make history with Shujaa,” he declared.

” So far, the training here has been perfect for us. We have aligned all the rugby basics. Even though we have been preparing ever since we qualified for Paris, the work outs have been much more intense since we hit the camp.”

One area Omondi reiterates the team is supposed to work on before they depart to France is the defence. To him, a rock-solid cover will be key to a good showdown in Paris.

“We do not want a leaky backside; this will help us not to lose points. So, actually, this is our major concentration in the entire period that we will be at Kasarani.”

And as a team, do they have a specific target in Paris?

“Our aim is to win a medal, so we are targeting a podium finish. For us to achieve this, we have planned to take one game at a time. We believe this strategy will assist us towards attaining the goal.”

When asked his opinion of the current Shujaa squad at the camp, Omondi said: “The team is very much capable, both technically and tactically. Everyone is competent in their roles, what we need most is just to gel as we all come from different teams in the national league.”

Kenya will be making a third consecutive appearance at the Olympics where Shujaa has been pooled alongside World Seven Series champions Argentina, Australia and Samoa in pool B at the Paris extravaganza.

The Kevin Wambua side will be seeking a place on the podium after two unsuccessful Olympics outings in Rio, Brazil in 2016 and in Tokyo, Japan in 2020 where they failed to get out of the pool clashes.

Defending champions New Zealand, are in Pool A with Ireland, South Africa, and Japan. Pool C features the 2016 and 2020 champions Fiji, hosts France, the USA, and Uruguay.

Paris 2024 Olympics Rugby 7s Pool B





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