African Games 2023: Kenyan tennis prodigy Okutoyi on the verge of making history in Ghana


Kenya’s tennis sensation, Angella Okutoyi, made history at the African Games 2023 in Accra, Ghana, by securing her spot in both the singles and doubles finals.

Her remarkable journey saw her overcoming the defending champion, world number 62 Mayar Sherif of Egypt, in a thrilling match that spanned nearly four hours, ending in a nail-biting 5-7, 7-5, 7-6(5) victory.

Okutoyi’s triumph in the semifinals was not just a win but a testament to her growing dominance in the sport. The match against Sherif was a rollercoaster of emotions and skill, showcasing Okutoyi’s determination and ability to persevere through challenging moments.

Angella Okutoyi. PHOTO: Angella Okutoyi, X

This victory not only propelled her into the singles final against Egypt’s Lamis Hussein Abdel Aziz but also echoed her ambition and potential on the global stage.

Lamis Hussein Abdel Aziz, who secured her final spot by defeating her compatriot Sandra Samir, will face a formidable opponent in Okutoyi.

“One more. Olympics I am coming,” Angella Okutoyi

The Kenyan prodigy’s path to the final has been nothing short of spectacular, with dominant wins over Zambian Naomi Chilese and Egyptian Refaat Mostafa Elkotb, and a solid performance against Tunisian Aya El Aouni in the quarterfinals.

Speaking after her semifinal victory, an elated Okutoyi dedicated her win to her extensive support system, acknowledging the role of her family, coaches, Tennis Kenya, NOCK- Olympics Kenya, her fans worldwide, sponsors Lotto Sport Yonex Tennis, and Sports CS Hon. Ababu Namwamba. “This is for you,” she stated, expressing her gratitude and the strength she draws from their support.

Okutoyi’s aspirations reach beyond the African Games, as she hints at her next big goal: “One more. Olympics I am coming.”

Her performance in Accra not only sets the stage for a historic final but also brings her a step closer to representing Kenya at the Paris Olympics, showcasing her ambition to compete at the highest levels of the sport.

Angella Okutoyi. PHOTO: Angella Okutoyi, X

The Kenyan star’s success wasn’t limited to the singles event. Alongside her partner Cynthia Cheruto, Okutoyi also advanced to the women’s doubles finals, further highlighting her versatility and skill on the court.

The duo progressed to the final after their opponents, the Egyptian pair of Mayar Sherif and Lamis Elhussein, gave a walkover, paving the way for a showdown against either Nweke Dasam and Quadre Barakat of Nigeria or Sandra Sameh and Mostafa Refaat of Egypt.

Okutoyi’s journey in the African Games is a beacon of hope and inspiration for Kenya, potentially marking her as the first Kenyan since Jane Davies-Doxzon in 1978 to clinch tennis gold at the event.

With her eyes set on the Olympics and her heart filled with the support of her nation, Angella Okutoyi is not just playing for victory but for her place in history as one of Kenya’s most celebrated athletes.


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