Kenya maintain perfect record in Olympics qualifiers

Tuesday, January 7th, 2020 00:00 |
Malkia Strikers players celebrate their win after beating Egypt in their Olympics qualifier in Yaounde, Cameroon on Sunday. Kenya beat Botswana 3-0 yesterday. Photo/PD/FIVB

National women’s volleyball team Malkia Strikers have made it two wins out of two in their Olympics qualifiers after adding Botswana to their list of causalities yesterday.

Kenya, who are seeking to return to the Olympics Games since the 2004 edition in Athens, Greece, made light work of their opponents, beating them in straight sets at Paposy Arena in Yaounde, Cameroon, last evening.

Paul Bitok’s charges took 22 minutes to complete the first set which they won 25-17 before being run close in the second which they eventually claimed 25-19 and then made it 3-0 with a 25-18 victory in the final set. 

The southern Africa nation were seeking redemption after losing 3-0 (17-25, 4-25, 25-27) to hosts Cameroon on Sunday which left them bottom of the standings without a point but it was not to be as Kenya maintained their rhythm. 

Malkia Strikers had beaten Egypt 3-1 in their opening match of the five-team round robin qualifier on Sunday after losing the first set 25-23 before winning the subsequent ones 25-15, 25-21 and 25-22.

The twin wins will serve as a morale booster and good preparation for Kenya’s biggest test in the event yet when they take on reigning Africa champions Cameroon tonight.

The West Africans are seen as the team to beat given their pedigree and the fact that they are playing at home. They have already announced their intentions by Sunday’s thrashing of Botswana, meaning Kenya’s work is cut out.

However, Kenya can draw inspiration from the 2019 African Games where they downed Cameroon to claim a gold medal, added to the fact that they have already beaten Egypt, who edged them out of a place in the 2016 Rio Olympics four years ago. 

After Cameroon, Kenya will have a date with another west African team in Nigeria on Thursday and they will be hoping to have won all their matches by then so that they go into the clash with little pressure given only one ticket is available for the 2020 Games scheduled between July 24 and August 9 in Tokyo, Japan.

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