Angella Okutoyi’s Olympics hopes hang in the balance as Kenya lodges appeal after missing cut via ranking

Photo: Angella Okutoyi X

Angella Okutoyi’s Olympics hopes hang in the balance as Kenya lodges appeal after missing cut via ranking

Joel Omotto 13:32 - 06.06.2024

Kenya’s tennis ace Angella Okutoyi will have to wait pensively to known her Olympics fate following an appeal lodged by Tennis Kenya after she failed to gain enough ranking points.

Kenya’s tennis sensation Angella Okutoyi will have to endure a pensive wait to learn her Olympics qualification fate after missing the cut via the rankings route.

Okutoyi has been in a race against time to ensure she is ranked in the top 400 in the world since winning gold at the African Games in March, which saw her claim one of the four reserved Olympics slots for winners of various continental games.

After featuring in a number of tournaments to boost her rankings, Okutoyi was at position 502 heading into her final tournament, the W50 La Marsa in Monastir, Tunisia, but was eliminated at the Round of 32 on Wednesday, to all but end her hopes.

However, Tennis Kenya is not giving up and has lodged an appeal at the sport’s global governing body International Tennis Federation (ITF) to have her considered for the Olympics over a number of factors.

“We have put in an appeal to the ITF Board to consider Angella’s case because the African Games postponement from August 2023 to March 2024 only gave her two months to make the cut as opposed to eight months,” Tennis Kenya secretary general Wanjiru Mbugua told Nation.

“Okutoyi has put in her best and we are very proud of her. We keep the hope alive that she will make it to Paris 2024.”

Okutoyi’s fate now lies in the hands of the ITF whose governing body will decide in the coming weeks. If she is allowed in, she will become the first Kenyan tennis player to feature at the Olympics.

As Okutoyi waits, Egyptian Mayar Sherif, ranked 72nd in the world, is rubbing her hands with glee at the prospect of clinching the Olympics spot.

With Okutoyi guaranteed not to be in the top 400 by the June 10 deadline, Sherif could sneak in as the highest ranked African Games semi-finalist.

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