Beach volleyball: Youngster Jepkosgei joins national team for qualifiers

By Ernest Ndunda: Thursday, January 2nd 2020 at 13:20 GMT +3 | Volleyball and Handball
Yvonne Wavinya of the Kenya National Volleyball team dives to save the ball during a training session ahead of the Africa Qualifying Sub-Zonal 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games Qualifier which will be held in Tanzania early next year, December 28, 2019. The tournament starts on January 07, 2020 in Dar. [PHOTO BY GIDEON MAUNDU/STANDARD]

A standard seven girl Sharon Jepkosgei has earned her first call-up to the national women beach volleyball team currently camping in Mombasa for next week’s Africa Zone Five 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games qualifiers in Tanzania.

Head coach Sammy Mulinge said yesterday that the school girl impressed his technical bench during a recent volleyball camp for the youth held in Lukenya, Machakos County.

Jepkosgei from Soin Primary School in Kapsabet joined Yvonne Wavinya, Loice Chepkosgei and Brackcides Agala (Prisons), Gaudencia Makokha (Kenya Pipeline), Metrine Nabwile and Phosca Kasisi (KCB) at the camp on Tuesday. She is however yet to train with rest of the team having joined camp late in the evening.

“We gave the girls a day off today (yesterday) to celebrate New Year and Sharon will be part of the team when it resumes training tomorrow (today),” said Mulinge.

The coach said it was fundamental to have Jepkosgei in the camp for exposure as Kenya prepares to start preparation for the 2022 Youth Olympic Games to be held in Senegal.

“First, I want to make sure that everyone in the team has an opportunity to work with me and give me an opportunity to see them and see what stage of their game they’re at right now,” said Mulinge adding that he will name his final traveling team on Saturday ahead of the team’s travel on January 6 for the qualifiers that runs from January 7-9 in Dar es salaam.

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Mulinge said Rwanda stands between Kenya’s qualifications to the second round of the qualifiers. “We expect stiff competition from Rwanda, whose team has been to the World Cup and the Olympic games before.

“But slowly we will catch up with them ahead of the qualifiers if the players’ response in training is anything to go by,” said Mulinge.

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