Kenyan wrestler Mahabila Mathayo eyes historic gold at Africa Beach Games

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WRESTLING: Kenyan wrestler Mahabila Mathayo eyes historic gold at Africa Beach Games

Festus Chuma 21:00 - 29.06.2023

Determined Mahabila Mathayo sails through to the finals, eyes becoming Kenya's first-ever champion in Beach Games

Kenyan wrestler Mahabila Mathayo has powered his way into the final of the men's 80kg division after beating local contender Khaireddine Ben Tliliat at the ongoing Africa Beach Games in Hammamet, Tunisia.

Having previously finished fourth in the African Championship held in the same country, Mahabila proved unstoppable as he defeated Tlili with a score of 3-1.

Reflecting on his achievement, a delighted Mahabila expressed gratitude for the progress he has made in the tournament.

"I am really delighted and thankful for the far I have come. The game was really tough because these were the top eight wrestlers in the continent. I want to thank my sparring partner and coaches for their help. I believed in myself and really wanted to fight for a medal," said Mahabila as per Capital FM.

With his eyes set on the ultimate prize, Mahabila is set to face off against Senegalese wrestler Ngor Niakhe in the highly anticipated finals. 

The weight of expectations is not lost on him, as he recognizes the importance of clinching the gold medal. 

"There is some pressure, of course, because it will be painful for us to go home without gold. Everyone is pushing me, from my wife to family, friends, and coaches, to go all out. It is a must for me to give my utmost effort and emerge victorious," Mahabila added with determination.

At just 25 years old, Mahabila is aiming to etch his name in Kenyan sporting history by becoming the first-ever Kenyan wrestler to stand atop the podium at the Beach Games.

In the previous edition held in Sal, Kenya managed to secure three medals, but none of them were gold. 

Mark Omumasaba, Mahabila's compatriot, settled for silver in the men's 90kg category earlier in the week, adding to the nation's medal tally.