By PHILIP ONYANGO
The national women’s basketball team has automatically qualified for the 2011 All Africa Games thanks to a new rule.
Fiba has said it will henceforth be allowing the top five teams in the tournament automatic qualification to the next championships.
Kenya Basketball Federation secretary-general Vitalis Gode said Kenya finished in position five in the last games in Algeria and will not need to compete at the Zone Five qualifications in Uganda in September.
Other women’s teams that have automatically qualified for event are defending champions Mozambique, runners-up Senegal, second runners-up Nigeria and Angola, who finished fourth in the last tournament.
Gode, also the Zone Five secretary, said Kenya will however have to play at the Zone Five to qualify for the Africa Nations Cup.
The Kenya men’s team only needs to beat Rwanda in Uganda to qualify for the games in the absence of Egypt, second at the last event in Algeria, who have automatically qualified under the new rule.
Other men’s automatic qualifiers are Mozambique, Angola, Nigeria and Mali, who finished in that order at the last games. Gode also said Kenya will host the Under-18 championships in August.
The final rounds for the girls’ event will be in Egypt and the hosts, Mali, Tunisia, Mozambique and Nigeria have automatically qualified. The men’s final rounds will be held in Rwanda with the hosts, Egypt, Angola, Nigeria and Senegal having also automatically qualified.