NAIROBI, June 12 (Xinhua) -- The dearth in talent in marine sport, especially water surfing, has not dampened Kenyan prodigy John Nzioka's spirit and dream to dominate the Africa Beach Games in Sal, Kenya from June 14-23.
Kenya, with a long coastline in the Indian Ocean, has never embraced the exotic sport mostly associated with party goers and tourist along the coastal line running from Watamu to Malindi. But Nzioka seeks to be the odd one out trail blazing in the kiteboarding race.
The amateur kiteboarding athlete will be living his dream when lines up in Sal on June 19 against some of Africa's finest talents. It is a challenge that he will not hesitate to take and wants to have it in his lanky strides.
"I started surfing back in high school and now with over five years' experience, I believe it will be a good shot for me to rank against the best in the continent," Nzioka said on Wednesday.
"I loved sailing sport since when I was young. Later on, I took it to the high level of being competitive, registering in local tournaments that I won. This motivated me to take the sport serious," he added.
Nzioka will be the sole candidate for Kenya in kiteboarding in a large contingent of 40 competitors, who depart for Sal on Wednesday. Competition in his discipline does not start until June 19.
Weighing 78kg, Nzioka has fast learnt the skills cruising a 20 board of 130cm X 40cm and flying a 12-meter kite.
"It has been a challenge for me to get competition locally and most of the time I train alone. Despite that I am ready to post good result and write history as the first Kenyan to win a medal in the sport," Nzioka, who like his mentor Olympic javelin silver medalist Julius Yego, has horned his skills using video clips from YouTube.
But different currents, wind speed and water temperatures are some of the challenges Nzioka will encounter on his first shot in the Atlantic Ocean.
"East Africa coastline has warm waters of the Indian Ocean. It is not rough compared to Atlantic Ocean where the tournament will be held, maybe the cold there could be a challenge, but it's a challenge and risk I am well-prepared to take on," he said.