Former Kenya Sevens star Humphrey Kayange was on Wednesday enlisted into the World Rugby Hall of Fame.
Kayange turned into the first Kenyan and East African rugby athlete to be on the 164-man Hall of Fame list which praises those who inspired and motivated the game from humble origins.
He played for both the Kenya 15s and Sevens between 2004 and 2016.
The Rio 2016 Olympic Games was a fitting stage for one of Kenyan rugby’s greats to bow out on.
A veteran of 12 HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series, from 2004-16, Kayange, alongside his sibling Collins Injera, was a backbone of a Kenyan team dreaded for its strength and physicality.
A Master graduate in Chemistry by profession, Kayange helped the Shujaa reach two Rugby World Cup Sevens semi-finals, in 2009 – that very year he was selected for World Rugby Sevens Player of the Year – and again in 2013.
He also showed up at two Commonwealth Games, in 2010 and 2014, and was a member of the team that won Kenya’s very first World Series Cup title in Singapore in 2016. He completed his profession on the World Series as Kenya’s third highest points in sevens, with 799 points and 159 attempts, while in 15s he scored four attempts in 12 tests as a hard-running centre.
Despite the fact that Kenya failed to challenge for a medal at Rio 2016, the very fact rugby sevens was important for the Games’ programme was in some part down to Kayange, who as a member of World Rugby’s bid team, successfully presented the case for the sport’s inclusion to International Olympic Committee members in 2009.