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Beach volleyball: Coach Mulinge hopes to name returning Too for qualifiers

VOLLEYBALL AND HANDBALL By Ernest Ndunda | February 3rd 2021
Naomi Too training in Mombasa in 2019. [File, Standard]

National women beach volleyball team coach Sammy Mulinge is hoping to have the services of experienced Naomi Too for the Olympics qualifiers.

Too, who plays for Kenya Pipeline picked a knee injury on November 22, 2019 during the national league play-offs at Kasarani and has been out of action since then.

The injury saw the 2019 All Africa Games beach volleyball silver medalist Too who partnered with Gaudencia Makokha sidelined for the Africa Olympic qualifiers round one held in Dar-Es-Salaam, January 2020.

The injury forced her to be hospitalised but she has since been discharged and started physiotherapy and light gymnasium work.

“We are waiting for the doctor’s report because we intend to recall her to the team to prepare for the second round of the Africa qualifiers for the Tokyo Olympic Games,” Mulinge said.

He added that the return of Too in the team will be an advantage because of her previous experience in the game.

Coach Patrick Owino (right) looks on as the National Beach Volleyball players train at the Flamingo Beach sea front, February 26, 2020. [PHOTO: GIDEON MAUNDU/STANDARD].

The coach said the national team will start non-residential camp at Strathmore University in readiness for the continental games to be held between in March or April in Nigeria.

Other teams expected to play in the qualifiers are the hosts Nigeria, Cape Verde, Zambia and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) who are grouped in Pool C. The qualifiers will be played in a round-robin format.

The qualifiers were to be held last March but Kenya alongside Cape Verde, Zambia and DRC skipped due to Covid-19 travel restrictions.

Nigeria and Zambia automatically qualified for the final round but the continental body revised the calendar thus allowing the qualifiers to be played afresh.

The coach said there is a possibility tthey will call four more players to camp.

He said they are in the process of securing sand for the play court at Strathmore so the team can start training.

 

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