Malkia Strikers, Lionesses, Starlets, KPA and Vihiga Queens best teams

Friday, December 27th, 2019 00:00 |
National women’s volleyball team Malkia Strikers after a recent international match. Photo/PD/DAVID NDOLO

Ericson Kiprono

National women’s volleyball team, Malkia Strikers, are among the five finalists who will be battling it out for the top prize during the Safaricom Sports Personality of the Year (SOYA) Gala set for Mombasa on January 24.

The African volleyball queens will seek to be named the 2019 Team of The Year in the women’s category alongside Kenya Ports Authority (KPA) basketball team and national women’s football side Harambee Starlets.

Women’s Premier League champions Vihiga Queens and national women’s sevens team Kenya Lionesses are also in contention for the award.

Malkia Strikers were nominated after successfully defending the African Games title in Morocco by beating rivals Cameroon in the final to win the gold medal in September.

They went into the final with a mission to beat the west African country who had downed them at the Africa Cup of Nations tournament which was played in Egypt in July.

Kenya were forced to settle for second place at the Africa Cup of Nations despite having gone through the group stages unbeaten.

After the African Games in Morocco, Malkia Strikers went to the World Cup in Japan where they faced stiff competition from other established teams.

However, they still came back home from the global event having won one match as they once again beat rivals Cameroon.

KPA meanwhile, emerged second in the just-concluded Zone Five Championship, losing to JKL from Uganda and also boast of having seven players in the national team.

The Mombasa-based side also reached the final play-offs of the Kenya Basketball Federation Premier League, losing to Equity Bank Hawks.

Kenya Lionesses once again showed why they are a force to reckon with as they qualified for the Olympics for the second time in a row. Lionesses also played at the 2016 Olympics Games in Rio.

Harambee Starlets will, however, hope their exploits at the Council of East and Central Africa Football Associations (Cecafa) where they won the Challenge Cup will give them mileage over the other four teams.

Apart from winning the regional tournament with an unbeaten record,

Starlets also did not concede a goal and produced the top striker in the tournament in Jentrix Shikangwa, who scored 10 goals.

The other football team who will be hoping it will be a good outing  for football teams are Vihiga Queens who won the title by losing only one match while drawing once.

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