Kenya secures bronze at Montevideo Challenger Series


In an electrifying conclusion to the second event of the Challenger Series held at Estadio Charrúa, Montevideo, Uruguay, Kenya’s Shujaa team clinched the bronze medal after defeating Chile with a convincing 31-12 victory.

This win not only showcased Kenya’s resilience and skill but also added 16 valuable points to their tally, propelling them to a commendable total of 36 points after two rounds of competition.

The journey to the bronze was fraught with challenges for Shujaa, who faced a tough semifinal against Hong Kong, resulting in a narrow 21-14 defeat.

Meanwhile, Chile’s hopes for a final berth were dashed by the host team, Uruguay, in a closely contested match that ended 10-5. This outcome marked a significant drop for both teams, considering their previous encounter in the Dubai 7s final.

Revisiting their rivalry from the Challenger Series opener in Dubai, where Shujaa triumphed over Chile with a 12-5 scoreline, the stakes were high.

Patrick Odongo, a pivotal figure in Kenya’s success, had previously dazzled with his agility and scoring prowess, accumulating 11 tries, including two crucial ones in the final.

In Montevideo, Kenya’s dominance was immediately apparent, with winger Lamec Ambetsa breaking the deadlock early on. However, Chile quickly responded, equalizing the score through Ernesto Tchimino.

The Kenyan team, undeterred, regained control with Samuel Asati setting up captain Vincent Onyala for a converted try, followed by a robust push from co-captain Tony Omondi to extend their lead.

The second half saw Kenya further solidify their advantage, with John Okoth and Benson Salem Adoyo adding to the scoreboard, ensuring a comfortable lead.

Despite a late effort from Chile’s Luca Strabucchi, the match was firmly in Kenya’s grasp, showcasing their strategic play and teamwork.

This series serves as a pivotal platform for teams aspiring to join the elite ranks of the HSBC SVNS 2025.

Launched in February 2020, the Challenger Series aims to foster the development of rugby sevens worldwide, offering a clear pathway for emerging teams to ascend to the top level of this increasingly popular sport.

With its inclusion in the Olympic Games since Rio 2016, rugby sevens has seen a significant surge in global interest and participation.

Looking ahead, the Challenger Series will continue with exciting rounds in Krakow, Poland, and Munich, Germany, promising more high-stakes action and opportunities for teams to showcase their talent on the international stage.

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