30 points: All that stands between Kuki and the Olympics

18 April 2016
Nairobi (KEN)
The last female archer to represent Kenya at the Olympics was Jennifer Mbuta in Atlanta in 1996.

Main photo: Getty Images.

Shehzana Anwar, also known as Kuki, began competing internationally in 2008. During the African Archery Championships held in Windhoek, Namibia, in January 2016, she won gold and an individual quota place for Kenya to this year’s Olympic Games in Rio.

To make her Olympic dream a reality, she will need to achieve, before 11 July at any World Archery registered event, the minimum qualifying score (MQS) required for Rio, which is set at 600 out of 720 points for women.

If by that date, neither Kuki nor any other Kenyan recurve woman has achieved the score, Kenya will lose the quota place and it will be transferred to the first country on the standby list.

Kuki’s confident, though.

“My average score in a 720 round is 570,” she said. “I’m not too far away from it and with the right amount of professional help and training, I should be able to make it.”

If she or one of her teammates does achieve the score and get to Rio, it would be Kenya’s first archery Olympian in 16 years. The last wasDominic Rebelo in 2000.

Currently preparing at the national club based in Nairobi, it was Kuki’s original plan to train at the archery centre in Madrid and compete at the third and last stage of the Hyundai Archery World Cup in Antalya, but due to a lack of funding, that currently seems a distant possibility.

As a second option, Kenya will instead try hard to raise the level of national events, organising as many as possible before the 11 July deadline so Kuki can continue trying to reach the score she needs.

“We have resorted to registering national competitions with World Archery,” said Kuki. The requirements for registration as a world record eligible event include shooting the competition to World Archery rules, judge appointments and proper organisational procedures.

“Each competition will be an opportunity to achieve that 600.”

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