Moim’s delight on being named Kenya flag-bearer

Monday, July 19th, 2021 00:00 |
Malkia Strikers captain Mercy Moim. Photo/PD/DAVID NDOLO

 Amos Abuga @Amokc1oo1

Malkia Strikers captain Mercy Moim is still digesting the news that she will be one of Kenya’s flag-bearers at Friday’s opening ceremony for the Kenya flag-bearer.

 Ever since rising through the ranks representing the national team in 2003 during the junior world championships in Poland, the 32-year-old says it is surreal to have gotten this far.

 “I’m so happy to get this position. It is one of those wildest dreams that come true when one least expects. From a small village in Mt Elgon called Kaboiywo to the world, that is my story,” Moim who will conduct the flag bearing duties with Shujaa captain Andrew Amonde told People Sport.

 She was too young the last time Malkia Strikers appeared at the Athens Olympics in 2004 and the intervening 16 years have been testing for the Moim and the team, coming close in the subsequent editions in Beijing, London and Rio before lady luck struck for Tokyo.

 “I have been to all competitions except the Olympics, so becoming an Olympian is excitingly sweet and special.

It shows that no matter how long it takes, if you believe in yourself everything will fall in place,” said the athlete who in 2005 as a 15-year-old became the youngest player to represent the country during the 15th edition of the Africa Nations Cup volleyball in Nigeria where Kenya emerged champions.

The left attacker, a perennial Africa Club Championships winner with her former club Kenya Prisons Service and currently with KCB Women’s Volleyball Club, says the team is psyched up ahead of the Games.

 “For sure we will be up against the very best sides in the world who come with a lot of experience at the highest level. However, I want to state that we are equally up to the task.

We are at the Olympics by merit and that is why we have it all to play for,” added Moim.

 Kenya has been drawn in a tough Group A that has hosts Japan, Brazil, South Korea, Serbia and Dominican Republic.

 Meanwhile, Malkia Strikers, currently in their second week of  pre-Olympics camp in Kurume City in Japan, have lined up a build-up match against Argentina on Tuesday as they continue their preparations. 

“This friendly match will help us assess the progress we have made over the last few weeks in training here and back at home,” said head coach Paul Bitok.

 Besides Bitok, Malkia Strikers are also getting technical support from Brazilian coaches seconded to Kenya under the International Volleyball Federation’s development programme.

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